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Firefighters work to contain Telegraph Fire west of Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls

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A portion of the Telegraph Fire on Wednesday evening. | Courtesy Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire Center

IDAHO FALLS — Firefighters plan to work through the day after spending all night trying to contain the Telegraph Fire burning west of Idaho Falls.

The fire ignited late Wednesday afternoon and fire officials estimated the fire burned 2,154 acres as of Thursday morning, according to the Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire Center. The fire burned on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land about 20 miles west of Idaho Falls and quickly expanded onto Idaho National Laboratory land.

Crews on scene report 50% containment and expect to reach full containment by 8 p.m. Thursday. As of Thursday morning, the fire had not threatened buildings at INL or power lines.

RELATED | Telegraph fire grows to over 1,500 acres

“Fire behavior is minimal this morning,” Incident Commander Farron Kunkel said in a news release. “Our strategy today will be to strengthen containment lines to withstand the anticipated wind event expected this afternoon.”

Through the night, BLM and INL firefighters used dozers to build a line around the entire fire. Additional crews relieved those working last night and federal firefighters with INL plan to mop up hotspots and strengthen the existing containment lines.

Air resources arrived last night but now remain on standby at the Pocatello Tanker Base.

While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, officials say it is human-caused.

“The public is encouraged to take extra precautions as they recreate this summer as hot weather and dry vegetation make for prime fire conditions,” EIIFC said in a news release. “Take time to make sure your vehicle is well maintained and that nothing is hanging or dragging along the road.”

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