So far this year, 90 structures, including 18 homes, in Idaho have been destroyed by wildfires.
According to data from the U.S. Forest Service and Idaho Department of Lands, the structures were all lost since the beginning of September. Idaho’s wildfire season had been largely uneventful until recently, when dry weather, human activity and lightning kicked the season into high gear.
The Woodhead Fire, located on the Idaho and Oregon border, has now burned through 34 structures, according to Stanton Florea, a spokesman for the National Interagency Fire Center.
The fire grew by 26,000 acres on Monday, and, at 68,000 acres, is now straddling two counties, Washington County and Adams County.
Forest Service spokesman Jim Mackensen said smoke, including smoke from West Coast fires, has made visibility so poor that using air support has been difficult to nearly impossible.
“Everything is so socked in the pilots just can’t see the hazards,” Mackensen said.
The new 68,635-acre estimate is based off of satellite imagery and mapping by firefighters. Mackensen said the Woodhead Fire’s acreage count would likely fluctuate until a thermal imaging plane could be used to create a more accurate image; there are just two of the aircraft currently operating nationwide.
The Woodhead Fire has also forced the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to close the Andrus Wildlife Management Area north and east of Highway 71 due to “wildfire and public safety concerns.” More than 5,000 acres of the Andrus area have been burned, and firefighters are using the area to access and fight the Woodhead blaze.
TRAP FIRE NEAR STANLEY
The newly named Trap Fire has closed Highway 21 between Cape Horn Road and Grandjean Road, which are about 10 miles and 35 miles from Stanley, respectively, according to the Idaho Transportation Department.
The fire started Monday afternoon in the Sawtooth National Forest and had burned 110 acres by Tuesday afternoon, according to the Fire, Weather and Avalanche Center. Containment is expected by Wednesday evening.