STANLEY, Idaho - An 8,000-acre fire burning northwest of Atlanta has closed part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and prompted Elmore County sheriff's deputies to begin evacuations Monday afternoon before the evacuation was canceled.
Elmore County sheriff's deputies began evacuations at noon Monday following an 11:30 a.m. community meeting at Beaver Lodge. The situation became less dire in the afternoon and the Sheriff's Office stopped evacuations, though residents are still on pre-evacuation alert, an Elmore County dispatcher said.
Residents and property owners can move in and out of Atlanta, but the area is closed to the public.
Agency Air Attack discovered the Little Queens Fire on Saturday in the Sawtooth Wilderness. Cause of the fire, now about 4 1/2 miles from Atlanta, is under investigation, the U.S. Forest Service said.
"It was heading north yesterday, but then the winds changed and now it's heading south," Sawtooth National Forest spokeswoman Julie Thomas said at about 11 a.m. Monday.
As other fires burn in Idaho, resources are in short supply.
“We will manage the Little Queens Fire as a long-term fire," incident commander Jason Greenlee said Sunday. "We will monitor the fire to ensure that it does not burn into Atlanta ... and plan and prepare to defend the community if the fire changes direction and moves to the south."
The fire is close to the Boise National Forest boundary, and the Boise forest may take over management later today, Thomas said.
Because of the Little Queens Fire, part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area is closed. Read the closure order by clicking here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5432611.pdf
View the closure map by clicking here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5432607.pdf