Gusty winds don't have major impact on central Idaho fires

POWELL, ID - Roughly 151,400 acres have been torched as fire crews continue to battle fires in central Idaho.

Fire officials said the winds have been a high concern but did not have a huge impact spreading the fires in the past 24 hours.

"Last night the winds did not substantially impact our fire, but the fire did move slowly on the northeast corner on the east side of the fire and resulted in a good under-story burn," said Sheep Fire Information Officer Betsy Ballard. "The fire was held in check with the helicopter water drops."

Fire activity picked up on the Sheep Fire Tuesday but the wind was not as bad as predicted. Currently the Sheep Fire is 41% contained and 48,000 acres have burned. Winds were also less than expected and fire spread was less than anticipated for the McGuire Complex fire.

"It did cause some of the island perimeters within the fire to catch on fire, but it has all been within the current perimeter of the fire," said McGuire Complex fire Information Officer Trevor Augustino.

The creeping fire has burned more than 43,000 acres and is 25%contained. Contingency plans were in place for fire crews battling the Powell SBW Complex fires, with winds reported up to 30-miles-per-hour. However, since the majority of the terrain in the area consists of steep cannons, the fire spread just three-quarters of a mile.

"We definitely have dry conditions and a lot of the brush is now dry as well so the wind was helping it carry through," said Powell SBW Complex fires Information Officer Molly Puchlerz.

The Powell SBW Complex consists of three main and numerous small fires situated in an arc running southeast to southwest of the town of Powell, Idaho and has scorched more than 60,000 acres.

A hazardous weather outlook is still in place by the National Weather Service for portions of north central Idaho, southeastern and north central Washington as dry conditions and winds persist so it's important to be cautious while handling fire outdoors.