Inclement weather is expected to delay firefighters working on the Deer Fire in the Boise National Forest, pushing planned containment to Monday, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
The fire, which is burning 12 miles northeast of Boise, was expected to be contained Saturday, but possible flash flooding in the area may require firefighters to stop working.
“If we receive the amount of rainfall predicted, then the chances of flash flooding in a burned area would be increased and we’d get those folks off the hill,” Kailie Leggett, a spokesperson for the Forest Service, told the Idaho Statesman by phone.
The fire is 25% contained, according to a Saturday release from the Forest Service. Though the blaze was initially estimated to be approximately 1,000 acres, the Forest Service said that a more accurate aerial map of the fire reduced its size to 865 acres.
“Fire crews, assisted by aerial resources, made good progress building direct line (Friday), securing the southern border of the fire,” the release said.
The northern portion of the fire “continues to show pockets of intense heat,” according to the release, and firefighters are hoping that cooler temperatures and rain in the forecast will help slow the burning.
But the Forest Service is also “bracing for the potential of flash flooding and landslides in the recently burned area,” the release added.
The National Weather Service is expecting record rainfall in much of the Treasure Valley region this weekend, with most areas of Boise County, where the Deer Fire is burning, expected to get around an inch of precipitation.
Nearly 180 people are working on the Deer Fire, which is “burning in critical winter range for wildlife,” including deer habitat, according to the Forest Service.
The teams include eight 20-person crews, four engines and four helicopters, according to the release.
There are still no road closures in effect, but the Forest Service cautions motorists to expect delays on the Arrowrock road (Forest System Road 268), which is near the fire and being used by firefighters.
The Boise National Forest remains under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, meaning fires are prohibited outside of established sites, smoking is not allowed except at developed campsites or away from flammable material, and chainsaw use is restricted, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.