McGuire Fire Complex causes road closures & more evacuation warnings

GRANGEVILLE, ID - Concerns grow as the McGuire Fire Complex makes its way toward local towns like Dixie.

The McGuire Fire Complex is now at 24,000 acres, with more than 530 personnel battling the flames. Public Information Officer Katie Knotek said the winds, coupled with poor access to fire areas evacuation zones have expanded the McGuire Fire Complex.

Now the Mallard Creek, Cook Ranch and Red River areas are at a Stage 2 Evacuation Warning. At this evacuation level, firefighters suggest residents move livestock and anything else that would take extra time to haul out.

The firefighters are camped out in a field in the Red River area. Knotek said if the area is increased to a Level 3 Evacuation Request, it may mean the firefighters will have to abandon the area. Meanwhile, Knotek said they have had road closures into the Dixie and Comstock area, blocking any traffic in or out.

"The road has been closed for several days as part of the area closure," said Knotek. "Yesterday for a period of time we did close it to all traffic including local residents."

Knotek said some residents left the area when the road was reopened this morning, but most have chosen to stay. Some residents have said they'll leave when the firefighters do.

"It could be a stressful situation," said Knotek. "Especially if there is fire burning across the 222 Road. If there's residents in there trying to evacuate at the same time, it would make it a little more congested of a situation but it's their choice."

Knotek said she's received pressure from local residents and recreational hunters to open roads back up and allow access to surrounding areas. However, she stresses the importance of abiding by the regulations set forth by the Incident Management Team.

"Should the fire really get up and moving, it was like yesterday and there's people in the area that we don't know about or that we have to go look for," said Knotek. "It's going to take our resources off of the fire line and potentially even aerial resources to look for people."

The fire is currently at 2% containment with more than 620 structures threatened.