Firefighters on Sunday faced the possibility of a long battle against a wildfire burning in heavy timber 50 miles east of Boise after an intense effort a day earlier that included dropping more than 100,000 gallons of fire retardant failed to keep the blaze in check.
The Trinity Ridge Fire in the Boise National Forest expanded Saturday despite 46 runs by four military C-130 cargo planes based at the nearby Boise Air Terminal and more drops by three single-engine air tankers. Retardant drops continued Sunday, but not at the same pace as Saturday, and the fire grew to about 2 square miles.
The fire is burning about 10 miles northwest of Featherville in Elmore County. No structures are threatened, but the area includes habitat for threatened bull trout.
Meanwhile, the lightning-caused Halstead Fire burning in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho grew slightly to 36 square miles.
Fire officials say crews are working to build a fire line that parallels State Highway 21 to make sure the travel corridor between Boise and Stanley remains open. The fire is within a few miles of the highway at one point but that’s also where fire lines are most secure. About 375 firefighters are working on the fire that is expected to burn into the fall.
Elsewhere, the Grizzly Fire about seven miles north of Cambridge has burned 850 acres, but full containment was expected late Sunday. (AP)