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3 cabins destroyed, dozens more residences evacuated due to wildfire northeast of Boise


IDAHO CITY, Idaho — A late-season wildfire burning about 40 miles northeast of Boise has destroyed three cabins and forced the evacuation of dozens of additional residences.

Idaho Department of Lands spokeswoman Emily Callihan said the 4-square-mile fire was being fought Monday by about 200 firefighters as well as nine aircraft, including a heavy air tanker.

"Resources are available to fight this fire at this time of year," she said.

The fire has exceeded the state agency's ability to manage the fire, so an Incident Management Team has been assigned and is scheduled to take over Tuesday morning.

It's not clear if the destroyed cabins were full- or part-time residences. No damage estimates were available and there have been no reports of injuries.

Boise County Emergency Management officials said residents in the Macks Creek, Wolf Creek and Pine Creek areas are under an evacuation order. Officials said there is currently limited access to those areas, and they've requested people stay away to keep roads clear for emergency vehicles.

Officials said the fire started Saturday afternoon on private land and initial responders thought they had it contained as it was bordered on three sides by roads.

But Callihan said strong winds Saturday night caused embers to spot ahead of the fire into the nearby forest and now it's burning in brush and heavy timber. The fire is mainly on U.S. Forest Service land, Callihan said.

The fire is about 5 miles north of Bogus Basin Ski Area, but Callihan said the fire is moving north and away from the ski area.

Cooler nights are helping firefighters, Callihan said, but tinder-dry conditions are working against them.

She said the fire is thought to be human-caused because there was no lightning in the area. A team is investigating.

"If they can identify the responsible party and, if negligent, the state may pursue that party for the cost of suppression," she said.

Idaho is on the hook for about $50 million in firefighting costs already this year, making it among the state's most expensive years.

Smoke from the fire has settled in the more densely populated Boise area.

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