Nation's largest wildfire contained

BOISE, Idaho -- Firefighters working in a light rain corralled the largest wildfire burning in the nation, a month-old blaze in Boise National Forest that destroyed 25 homes and a resort lodge, officials said Wednesday.

The 46,500-acre Lowman fire, 70 miles northeast of Boise, was contained Tuesday night after an all-day drizzle. It is expected to be controlled Aug. 30, said Ken Palmrose, a spokesman for the forest.


'It's been a long haul,' Palmrose said.

The fire was sparked by lightning July 26 and destroyed the homes and Haven Lodge near Lowman three days later. Fire bosses had pushed ahead expected containment dates for the past week.

'All together, over 72 miles of fire line has been built around that complex, which is really amazing when you stop and think of it,' Palmrose said. 'That's a combination of building lines by hand or mechanically.'

Some 1,150 firefighters continued mopping up the blaze.

The fire's intense heat destroyed vegetation in much of the steep and rugged country, creating a strong possiblity of landslides if heavy rain should fall, Palmrose said.

'We're formulating some plans and getting teams ready,' he said. 'We've got one of the leading experts on environmental geology on the scene right now, an expert on landslide potential.'


Meantime, little activity was reported on 14 small wilderness fires in central Idaho's Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area where about 2 inches of rain fell Tuesday.

'As far as any fire activity, it has diminished significantly as of this morning,' said Dave Olson, spokesman for the Payette National Forest.

The largest of those fires was the 2,455-acre Game Creek Fire. However, the blaze was so inactive the 48 firefighters battling it will probably be sent home later this week, Olson said.

Firefighters were successfully steering the blaze away from an airstrip and about 15 buildings in the Chamberland Basin.

Latest Headlines


Follow Us