Pony and Elk Complex fires growing fast; evacuations continue

MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho - Firefighters endured another long night on the fire lines working to keep both the Elk and Pony Complexes at bay.

According to the Bureau of Land Management, the plume-dominated Elk Complex is now estimated at 80,365 acres and 0% contained. Both ground and air resources employed strategies and tactics to battle the fire east of Prairie towards the landing strip. Late yesterday, the fire moved into the Lester and Fall Creek.

A 600 acre spot fire sparked late Saturday on the north side of the South Fork Boise River in the Rock Creek drainage.

The Elmore County Sheriff's Department is notifying residents from Johnson Bridge (about half way between Pine and Featherville) south to the junction of the Pine/Featherville Road and Highway 20 that they need to leave the area. Campers are also being asked to leave. The Sheriff's office has established a road block at the Pine/Featherville Road and Highway 20 junction.

Access to the Falls Creek area is restricted.

The Pony Complex experienced extreme fire behavior Saturday. The BLM estimates that it's now at 100,090 acres and is 10% contained. Crews conducted burnout operations in and around dispersed residences and ranches in an attempt to stop the forward progression of the fire to the west near the community of Mayfield. Currently, the fire has reached the Blacks Creek Road.

The Danskin Lookout was evacuated and retardant was used to protect the structure. An unknown amount of cows and sheep, that are associated with Forest Service allotments, are missing/unaccounted.

The following road closures continue to be place:

Blacks Creek Road off I-84 at the Mayfield Road junction

Indian Creek Road off I-84 at exit 71

Anderson Ranch Dam south on the Dixie Creek Cut-off to Hwy 20

Prairie Road/Cow Creek Road heading north from Hwy 20

Forest Road 128 from Pine

Due to extreme fire behavior, the following area evacuations have been issued by the Elmore County sheriff's office: The community of Prairie and Mayfield (which includes Regina, Indian Creek and Baseline); Anderson Dam Reservoir up Fall Creek Road to Ice Springs Campground then east to Lester Creek Guard Station; and Danskin fire lookout.

The Boise National Forest has initiated a large area closure that extends roughly from the Pine/Featherville road on the east; Forest Road172 and the William Pogue Trail to the north; the Middle Fork of the Boise River to Arrowrock Reservoir; then extending south along the forest boundary to the north side of Anderson Ranch Reservoir. Additionally, the Trinity Lakes Recreation area is closed.