HAZELTON — Fire crews had two lightning-started fires near Hazelton under control by Monday morning.
Bureau of Land Management firefighters contained the Wilson fire at 10 p.m. Sunday. The fire burned grasslands two miles north of town and scorched 316 acres, but did not threaten any structures.
“It burned pretty actively while that thunderstorm was over the top of it, then calmed down once that thunderstorm was passed,” BLM Idaho Fire Information and Prevention Officer Kelsey Brizendine said.
The BLM responded to the fire with three Twin Falls BLM fire engines, a bulldozer, a water tender and two Boise BLM engines as well as three fire response coordinators. The BLM plans to have the fire controlled by 8 p.m. Monday.
The smaller Cinder Butte fire, northeast of Hazelton, burned 39 acres. The BLM and First Segregation Rural Fire Department had the blaze contained at 10 p.m. Saturday. Two Twin Falls BLM engines and two single engine tankers fought the fire.
“They were pretty much standard lightning fires,” Brizendine said.
There haven’t been any massive infernos so far this summer.
“The fuel is there and the potential is there to get big,” Brizendine said. “But our resources are doing a really good job of responding quickly and getting those fires put out, keeping them on the smaller side.”
The National Weather Service has put out a red flag warning in anticipation of thunderstorms Monday.
The red flag warning runs from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. with wind gusts predicted to range from 30 to 40 mph. The affected area is Fire Weather Zone 410 Upper Snake River Valley, Idaho Falls BLM and Fire Weather Zone 425 Middle Snake River Valley, Twin Falls BLM north of the Snake River, according to the weather service statement.
“That red flag warning is obviously a concern for us,” Brizendine said. “We’re on high alert.”
It’s important to limit human-induced fires as much as possible, Brizendine said.
“We’re starting to get those natural-caused fires,” she said. “If you can prevent those human-caused fires it makes our resources available to handle those natural-caused fires.”