Sheriff: Volunteer evacuations for 60 homes in Garden Valley

Sheriff: Volunteer evacuations for 60 homes in Garden Valley

GARDEN VALLEY, Idaho (KBOI) -- The Boise County Sheriff's Office has called for a voluntary evacuation of about 60 homes due to a forest fire.

The evacuation from the fire, is for folks living on the South Fork Payette River Road and the area affected is about five miles east of Garden Valley.

The Boise National Forest says lightning caused 20 fires -- most of them in the Garden Valley and Crouch area. Half of the fires are staffed with firefighters, engines and other crews. All told, fires have been reported east of Garden Valley for about 40 miles following the river.

Several fires have been reported and total about 600 acres, according to a Tuesday morning estimate.

About 200 people are fighting the fires.

An evacuation point for the Calder Fire has been set up at the Garden Valley School for residents who decide to leave. Residents who go elsewhere are asked to stop by the school to notify officials. 

Forest officials say conditions are perfect for forest fires with dry and extremely hot temperatures.

Fire Update as of 8 a.m.

The forest fires have now been called the Whiskey Complex Fire.

Wash Fire: The 150-acre Wash Fire, located about 3 miles east of Garden Valley is a top priority fire due to its proximity to homes.  No structures have been lost, but the fire is near several homes.  An additional structure fire engine has been ordered to re-enforce structure protection

Grimes Fire: The estimated 300-acre Grimes Fire, 5 miles east of Garden Valley, is also a high priority fire.  The Idaho City, Boise, and Sawtooth Hotshot Crews will work to fully contain a smaller fire nearby and on the Grimes Fire throughout the day, supported by helicopters, engines and airtankers.

Calder Fire: The 100-acre Calder Fire, about 4 miles east of Garden Valley, is higher in elevation from the South Fork Payette River, and is very challenging to access on foot. Fire managers will assess the best method of attack today with a close look at its location and firefighter safety.

Blue Jay Fire: The 85-acre Blue Jay Fire about 17 miles east of Lowman is burning conifer trees in a remote area.  Smokejumpers will manage it for the immediate future.  Five hotshot crews will move to that fire throughout the day and two helicopters have been ordered. Five smaller fires on the Lowman Ranger District are nearing containment or control.