Friday, August 9, 2013

Lightning sparks fires near Fairfield

Burned area totals 6,000 acres

Express Staff Writer

    Two wildfires ignited by lightning Wednesday evening are threatening homes near Fairfield.
    The McCann Fire was reported to have burned about 4,000 acres of brush and grass about six miles northwest of Fairfield by Tuesday afternoon. The Beaver Creek Fire, burning about 15 miles northeast of the town, had scorched about 2,000 acres. That fire is within just a few miles of the headwaters of both Croy Creek and Deer Creek.
    Julie Thomas, public affairs officer with the Sawtooth National Forest, said the fires are on private and BLM-managed land. She said firefighters had put their efforts primarily into blocking the fires’ spread south onto the Camas Prairie, where homes and farm buildings are located.
    Thomas said about 60 firefighters from the Sawtooth National Forest and the BLM were attacking the McCann Fire with the help of 10 engines and air support. She said about 100 firefighters and four engines had been assigned to the Beaver Creek Fire, which is burning in more rugged terrain near the national forest boundary.
    Thomas said estimated containment date for both fires is Saturday, Aug. 10, though forecast thunderstorms with high winds could prolong the battle.
    “Anything can change when we have bad weather,” she said.

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