Highway 95 back open as crews battle wildfire near Midvale

By July 27, 2018July 28th, 2018No Comments

BOISE — It’s been a long few days for fire crews and people living near the Keithly Fire.

An evacuation order was issued for residents living along Deer Creek Road as crews battled the fire burning near Midvale. As of Saturday morning, they are allowed to return home.

The fire was sparked by lightning Wednesday morning and has charred 15,434 acres. Over 100 firefighters have been working day and night to contain it. As of Saturday morning it was 10% contained.

Crews have been able to slow the fire’s growth along the east flank from Keithly Creek down to Highway 95.

Suppression efforts are focused on protecting the communities of Midvale, Mann’s Creek and Deer Creek, as well as the main U.S. 95 corridor between Weiser and Midvale. So far, no structures have been destroyed by the fire.

Crews evacuated people at the Thousand Springs Ranch earlier Friday morning. Residents returned when they saw the fire out. But by 1:30 p.m. the winds and flames picked up again and the fire was closer than before.

Residents tell KTVB it’s been a scary and stressful couple of days.

MORE: Mesa Fire burning near Council and Highway 95 prompts evacuations

Right now, the Keithly Fire is burning on Bureau of Land Management land and private property.

The fire is burning in some steep, rocky terrain and it’s those terrain-driven winds that are really driving it.

So crews are attacking it from the air and on the ground with scoopers, helicopters and single-engine air tankers.

We caught up with the caretakers of the Midvale Rest Stop. They took photos as they watched the fire creep over the hillside and toward their home.

“It was pretty scary. Very uncomfortable,” said James Howard. “We were scrambling trying to get all of our pets and stuff out of the house, at least if they couldn’t control it enough.”

Thankfully, fire crews were able to stop the fire in its tracks.

Right now, there are still evacuation orders in place for the area of Mann’s Creek, which include campgrounds and Deer Creek.

An evacuation center is also set up at Weiser Vendome Events Center at 309 State Street in Weiser.

Highway 95 closed and partially reopened throughout the day between Milepost 93 to Milepost 105, Mann Creek to Midvale. As of around 10 p.m. Friday it was back open. Drivers should check the latest road reports before heading out.

A community meeting is set for Saturday, July 28 at 6 p.m. at the Weiser High School Auditorium, located at 690 W. Indianhead Road.

© 2018 KTVB


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