SAGE JUNCTION, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - UPDATE 7/16/18 4:00 p.m. Investigators determined the North Butte Fire was caused by shooters illegally using exploding targets.
The fire started on Sunday and burned 827 acres. It is estimated to be contained by Monday at 8 p.m.
“This is very disappointing as this is the second fire caused by exploding targets near Menan Butte this summer,” said Jeremy Casterson, Upper Snake Field Manager. “Exploding targets are prohibited by the BLM because they can start wildfires and have caused multiple wildfires across Idaho.”
Using exploding targets on BLM lands is a misdemeanor and violators could be liable for costs associated with fire suppression, rehabilitation and property damage.
7/16/2018 9:00 a.m. UPDATE: The North Butte Fire is smoldering Monday morning after burning an estimated 1000 acres on Sunday.
The fire was burning 5 miles east of Sage Junction, south of Highway 33 in Jefferson County.
Fire managers at the Bureau of Land Management said the fire is 50 percent contained and expect it to be completely contained by Monday evening at 8 p.m.
They are still trying to determine how it started. No structures were threatened by the fire.
It mostly burned grass and brush on flat ground, they said.
7/15/2018 7:45 p.m. UPDATE:
The North Butte Fire is estimated at 1000 acres.
Containment is estimated for Monday at 8 p.m.
There are 16 engines (BLM, CFD, USFS, Hamer & Roberts) fighting the fire with 4 water tenders. 1 helicopter and 3 retardant planes are assisting the firefighters on the ground.
Highway 33 is back open.
A fire is burning five miles east of Sage Junction, near the Menan Buttes and about 1.5 miles south of Highway 33.
It's been named the North Butte Fire. The BLM said it's currently about 200 acres and there is no estimated time for containment at this point. The agency said it is very active and still growing.
A spokesperson for BLM said currently no structures are threatened.
Both BLM and Central Fire District are responding.
It started around 4:45 p.m. Sunday and the cause of it is still under investigation.
There are currently six engines, two dozers, one helicopter, one tender and three retardant planes.
Stay with KIFI/KIDK for updates on this fire.