UPDATE: North Butte Fire now 50 percent contained
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MENAN — Emergency crews were getting a good handle on the North Butte Fire as of 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
The fire, which had grown to 1,000 acres between 4:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., was mostly smoldering and creeping forward at sundown. The blaze was located about one and a half miles south of Idaho Highway 33 and two miles west of the Menan Buttes.
Firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management, Central Fire District, U.S. Forest Service, and the Hamer and Roberts volunteer fire departments fought the blaze all afternoon and will continue to do so throughout the night, according to a BLM news release.
Sixteen engines were on scene with four water tenders, two bulldozers, one helicopter, and three retardant planes, BLM spokeswoman Kelsey Griffee told EastIdahoNews.com.
Fire crews had completely surrounded the perimeter with water, retardant or bulldozer line by sundown and officials said the fire was 50 percent contained. Full containment is expected at 8 p.m. Monday.
Thus far, only grass and brush had been burned and no structures have been threatened.
The North Butte Fire ran into the Deer Park Fire scar from last year, which helped slow the blaze.
The Madison County Sheriff’s office has reopened all of ID 33, after initially closing parts of it Sunday afternoon. Officials say more of the highway be closed later if the fire and or smoke becomes hazardous to the roadway.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.