Rain and higher humidity aid firefighters battling Powerline Fire


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Courtesy Bureau of Land Management.

POCATELLO — Local and federal firefighters are slowly gaining the upper hand in containing the Powerline Fire.

The fire, which now measures at 53,706 acres, is 47 percent contained.

On Tuesday, rain and a higher relative humidity assisted crews in firefighting efforts and there was minimal expansion, with some creeping, smoldering, and a single tree torching occurring within the containment line in unburned islands, according to an Interagency Incident Management Team news release.

Officials say wood chipping will begin Wednesday on the southern edge of the fire in Pauline to removed potential fuel for the fire. Crews will continue to strengthen and secure the 72 mile fire perimeter especially around and adjacent to structures. The majority of firefighting resources remains in the southern portion of the containment area — particularly in and around Crystal Creek.

Another round of thunderstorms is expected Wednesday, coupled with high winds and hail. Officials say crews will continue to monitor the fire perimeter and structures to prevent unexpected fire growth outside the containment lines.

Air quality has significantly improved in southeastern Idaho, but an air quality warning remains in effect for western Oneida and Power counties.

The Arbon Valley Highway remains open, although officials urge caution as there may be cows in the roadway displaced by the fire, according to a news release.