Lightning sparks 11 new fires in Boise National Forest

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Officials with the Boise National Forest say there are 11 new fires burning Wednesday morning following widespread lightning overnight.

Spokesman David Olson says the fires are each smaller than half an acre and crews are being dispatched to put them out. Olson said their small sizes are nothing to take lightly though.

"The big issue with lightning fires is they start small, and they're somewhat remote in some cases," Olson said. "They have the potential of growing as the day goes on and temperatures heat up and the humidity drops,"

Olson said the fires are scattered around the forest, and some of them are in rought terrain, making them hard to get to.

"So there's a group (of fires) in the middle fork of the Payette River, there's one way up toward the boundry of the Sawtooth National Forest, and then a couple in the Idaho City area," Olson said.

He says overnight rain that dampened the area will hold the fires in the morning, but they'll most likely become more active as the day heats up.

Fire lookouts spotted the new fires, and Olson says more fires will likely be reported during the day.

Dispatchers for the BLM said they recieved hundreds of phone calls overnight of reported fires. The dispatcher told KBOI fire crews are all hands on deck looking for fires on Highway 21 near Robie Creek and Dunnigan Creek.

Ada County dispatchers said there were three fires reported overnight, but all of them were put out quickly by the rain. One fire was reported near Micron, which is on Federal Way; another was reported just across the interstate near the Winco Distribution Center, which is on Freight Street; and another was reported near Five Mile Road.