Firefighters are being credited with saving several houses from certain destruction after a large wildfire ignited near Blackfoot on Saturday afternoon.
The fire was caused by sparks from a malfunctioning pickup truck that was traveling on Highway 26 about five miles northwest of Blackfoot, authorities said.
The blaze was reported around 2 p.m. Saturday at Highway 26 near 800 West and the flames quickly spread to both sides of Highway 26, causing the Bingham County Sheriff's Office to shut down the highway for two hours.
Firefighters from the Blackfoot, Fort Hall and Firth fire departments responded and were immediately confronted by a raging wildfire that was threatening several nearby houses.
The firefighters got to work on defending the homes and successfully kept the flames away.
The Sheriff's Office reported Saturday night that the firefighters had stopped the fire's spread and then extinguished the remaining hot spots.
The wildfire scorched over 150 acres, according to the Blackfoot Fire Department.
In addition to not causing any damage to structures, the fire did not result in any injuries to people or evacuations, the Sheriff's Office said.
Much of East Idaho including the Blackfoot area was under a red flag warning on Saturday because of high winds, low humidity and the chance of thunderstorms. A red flag warning is the highest wildfire threat level.
The National Weather Service said the conditions Saturday that triggered the red flag warning would be conducive to causing any wildfire that did ignite to spread rapidly.
That proved true when the sparks from the pickup on Highway 26 quickly caused a wildfire that shut down the highway and nearly destroyed several houses.