HOWE, Idaho - Fire crews with the Bureau of Land Management are battling a wildfire north of Howe, Forest Service spokesman Lynn Ballard said.
The Black Canyon Fire has quickly spread to more than 1,500 acres Wednesday on the mid-slope of the Saddle Mountains, Ballard said. As of Thursday at 3:45 p.m., the fire was up to 2,000 acres.
The fire is burning in an area that does not have any access roads so it will be extremely dangerous for crews to reach the fire lines. Air suppression is not being used because the winds are blowing so hard it will disperse the retardant before it has a chance to be effective, Ballard said.
The elevation of the area burned varies from 5,400 to 10,000 feet with vegetation including grasses, sagebrush, Douglas fir, subalpine fir and Whitebark pine.
Ballard said from 8 a.m. Tuesday to 8 a.m. Wednesday there were 4,520 lightning strikes in the Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire Center coverage area. Several other small fires are burning throughout the region because of those lightning strikes. Ballard believes even more will likely start throughout Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Salmon-Challis National Forest District Ranger Bart Gamett said a Type 2 fire management crew has been called in to attack the blaze. They are expected to arrive Thursday.
We will update this story as more information becomes available.