BUHL • Two Magic Valley wildfires sparked within 24 hours over the weekend, with one consuming 283 acres of sagebrush northwest of Buhl and the other burning 100 acres northwest of Gooding.
No one was injured, and no property was damaged. Both fires were doused.
About 9:30 p.m. Friday, firefighters responded to a blaze in the Sinking Canyon, 6 miles from Buhl. Thirty firefighters with five engines fought the blaze, containing it about 7 p.m. Saturday.
A second fire erupted about noon Saturday 13 miles from Gooding and was contained by 11 that night.
Altogether, 50 firefighters, nine engines and a bulldozer put out the wildfires.
Low winds and desolate terrain kept the blazes from spreading, said Kyli Gough, an area public information officer for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
“We’re fortunate. A lot of times we have these big fires, hundreds of thousands of acres,” Gough said. “It could always burn more. We were lucky to get out there and get on top of it quickly. As fuel becomes drier, it could’ve been a different story if this same fire would’ve happened later in the season.”
Like the weather, Gough said, it’s hard to predict the fire season.
This year “will be an average to a slightly above average fire season,” she said. “I don’t want to say something specific because you never know what’s going to happen.”
The National Interagency Fire Center, however, predicts that this year’s wildfire season in Idaho will be at least as bad as last year’s, which burned 1.6 million acres.
Most wildfires in the region are sparked by lightening or carelessness, Gough said. The weekend glazes probably were sparked by a carelessly discarded cigarette or a campfire that wasn’t fully extinguished.
The BLM is investigating both fires.