UPDATE -- Hot Tea Fire grows to 6,000 acres

Friday, August 27, 2010
The Hot Tea Fire between Bennett Mountain and Teapot Dome was one of several sparked by storms that swept through the area Thursday night.

The Hot Tea Fire burning 10 miles northeast of Mountain Home on the south side of Bennet Mountain near Teapot Dome is now the top priority for Boise District BLM Fire Managers.

The fire was reported Saturday morning to have grown to 10,000 acres, but later, more accurate, mapping reduced the size to just under 6,000 acres.

Cool temperatures over the weekend helped firefighters establish control lines on the west side of the fire.

The fire was reported Friday morning as a result of Thursdays lightning storm that moved though southwest Idaho.

The Bennett Creek Road was closed Friday night as firefighters dug in along the fire line. There are no structures threatened at this time.

The fire is primarily moving eastward and as of Saturday morning it was only 20 percent contained.

The fire grew quickly Friday evening, burning heavy fuels in steep, rocky terrain. Firefighters experienced erratic fire behavior as the wind pushed the fire toward the timber. Suppression efforts are expected to be challenged again today with gusty winds predicted this afternoon and into the evening. Winds could reach up to 25 miles per hour.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team from California has been ordered for the fire. They are expected to arrive at 6 p.m. Saturday night and transition into managing early Sunday morning.

Resources now assigned include six engines, four dozers, three water tenders, two hand crews and one helicopter. Four single-engine air tankers (SEATS) and two heavy air tankers dropped retardant on the fire throughout the day on Friday, however, with the multiple fires burning in the Boise National Forest and on State land, air support was limited.

The fire was one of several triggered by lightning storms that moved through southwestern Idaho Thursday, but it was not reported until Friday morning. It had burned about 20 acres where firefighters arrived.

The Buckster Fire -- Located approximately 20 miles south of Oreana in Owyhee County, is holding at 1,000 acres in size. Resources assigned as of Saturday include dthree engines, two dozers, one water tender and one hotshot crew. No structures have been threatened. The fire was burning in mixed juniper and moving toward timber. BLM resources assigned to the fire included three engines, two dozers, one water tender, and one hotshot crew. No structures were threatened.

The Flint Fire is burning approximately 15 miles southwest of Silver City. Its size is estimated now to be 800 acres. Resources assigned to the fire include three engines. There are structures in the area, but they are not threatened at this time.

The three fires in the Mayfield area Thursday night were all contained and put out by Saturday morning. They were:

The Dry Fire -- Estimated at 55 acres, it was fought by four engines, one dozer, one water tender, one helicopter and one hand crew.

The Hollow Fire -- Approximately 35 acres burned. Resources assigned included two engines, one dozer and one water tender.

The Roost Fire -- It burned one acre and was quickly contained.

The small Coug Fire approximately 20 miles southeast of Triagle in Owyhee County appears to have burned itself out. No resources were assigned to that fire, which burned a half dozen trees.

The lightning has caused over 70 fires throughout southern Idaho on BLM, Forest Service, and State lands. The BLM continues to work with crews from other agencies including Vale, Boise National Forest, and the Idaho Department of lands along with private contractors to suppression the fires.

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