ID Wildfire Near Pillar Falls Contained, Ground Crews Continue to Put Out Hot Spots

The Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho


Jun. 6—TWIN FALLS — A brush fire burned more than 40 acres Saturday evening in the Snake River Canyon near Pillar Falls.

The fire had burned more than 40 acres as of 6:30 p.m., city spokesperson Joshua Palmer said.

After using a helicopter to drop thousands of gallons of water on the fire, it was contained by 7:50 p.m. and residents who had evacuated were encouraged to return to their homes, Palmer said.

Ground crews are still working to put out any hot spots.

The Twin Falls Fire Department, Bureau of Land Management, Rock Creek Fire Department and Jerome City Fire Department all helped fight the fire.

There is still no word on how the fire started. Palmer said the fire began at the base of the canyon and moved its way upward. Weather conditions may have played a factor.

Earl Watters, one of the captains for Billings Flying Service, said the aircraft used to fight the fire was a CH-47D. This helicopter had a 2,700-gallon bucket.

Billings Flying Service is a private company that has a 90-day contract with the U.S. Forest Service out of McCall. There were three people on board the helicopter while it performed water drops, a captain, co-pilot and crew chief.

The fire prompted officials to close the trailhead at Eastland Drive and Pole Line Road and closed Pole Line east of Eastland. Roads were open again by 8 p.m.

For a few hours, residents in the area were encouraged to turn on their sprinklers and evacuate, but the evacuations were not mandatory, Palmer said.

An evacuation center was set up at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meeting house being the temple.

Times-News reporter Hannah Welzbacker, Mychel Matthews and Kyle Hansen contributed to this report.


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