POCATELLO — Despite critical fire conditions Monday, local and federal firefighters managed to keep pace with the growth of the Powerline Fire.
The blaze is now estimated at 52,014 acres and is 25 percent contained.
More than 400 emergency responders are working to contain the fire, which is close to both Pocatello and Pauline.
On the eastern flank, crews finished moping up hot spots and containment is secure on the entire northwest quarter of the perimeter, according to an Interagency Incident Management Team news release.
The southern edge of the fire has the greatest amount of resources devoted to securing it due to high winds and possible thunderstorms in the area.
No new evacuations were called Monday, and residents that were evacuated along the Arbon Valley were allowed back to their homes. The Arbon Valley Highway is also now open, but officials urge caution since there may be cows on the roadway that have been displaced by the fire.
Power has been restored to the region as Rocky Mountain Power has repaired its lines and poles.
A total of six buildings have been destroyed by the fire. Investigators indicated the blaze was human caused, but have not released any specific details.
A community meeting about the fire will be held at the Arbon Elementary School, 4405 Arbon Valley Highway, at 8 p.m. Tuesday evening.
The air quality in southeastern Idaho continues to be poor. National Weather Service and Idaho Department of Environmental Quality officials say smoke and ash are making the air unhealthy.
The advisory is in effect for the following cities: Pocatello, Chubbuck, Burley, Shoshone and Hailey.
Anyone who is sensitive to increased particulate or smoke levels should avoid prolonged or strenuous
outdoor activity. All others should limit prolonged or strenuous outdoor activity, according to a news release from the National Weather Service.
For more information please access the department’s website at http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov.
Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com