Lightning suspected as wildfire burns 250 acres south of Burgdorf; forecasters flag late-week thunderstorms

An Aug. 6 morning view of the Nethker Fire located south of Burgdorf.

BURGDORF -- Shortly after a column of smoke shot up in the Burgdorf area, Burgdorf-French Creek Road was pronounced closed by the Payette National Forest last Sunday afternoon, Aug. 4. The PNF declared the road open later in the evening, even as a “heavy presence of firefighting resources” was seen and more air and ground force was anticipated in the area, according to agency news releases.

The Nethker Fire (249 acres as of Tuesday morning, Aug. 6) burned overnight, having sprung up at about 2:20 p.m. Sunday, prompting evacuations of campers and Burgdorf residents. Lightning is suspected. A national Type II incident management team was set to take charge Wednesday morning.

Burgdorf-French Creek Road and Warren Wagon Road remained open as of Tuesday morning, Aug. 6, but a closure order is in effect for an area that covers Jeanette Campground and dispersed camping along Warren Wagon Road, Burgdorf-French Creek Road, Lake Creek and Summit Creek.

On Monday morning, Aug. 5, Burgdorf Hot Springs announced on Facebook it will be closed “until further notice.”

Elsewhere in Idaho County, the previously reported Crab and Barren Hill fires grew last week in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, though these fires were slowed by rain. The combined forests also reported eight new wildfires totaling 18 acres, chiefly the Magruder Fire (17 acres).

The Magruder Fire was listed at about 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, about 11 miles southeast of Elk City, where one module of Grangeville-based smokejumpers deployed, where they and several other firefighting units remained engaged as of Monday afternoon.

Weather forecasts noted by both the Nez-Clear and Payette forests point to more fire activity this week, with hotter temperatures and late-week thunderstorms anticipated.

Official information – including details about road and trail closures related to the Crab, Barren Hill and Nethker fires – can be found online at inciweb.nwcg.gov.

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