BLACKFOOT — Lightning sparked several fires throughout Southeast Idaho over the weekend, including two large fires near American Falls and Fort Hall.
The largest, the Garden Fire, burned 1,750 acres southeast of American Falls. The fire started approximately 3 a.m. Sunday and was caused by lightning, according to the Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire Center.
At 3 p.m. Sunday fire activity picked up and made a run north, threatening 30 homes in the Garden Subdivision. The homes were evacuated, but the evacuation order was later lifted after fire crews were able to push the fire north of the subdivision.
One-hundred percent containment of the fire was expected Monday night, with the estimate of control by 6 p.m. this evening.
A second fire was reported around 3 p.m. Sunday approximately four miles southeast of Fort Hall off 2 1/2 Mile Road. The fire started on BLM-managed lands and burned onto the reservation, and both Fort Hall and the Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire Center worked the fire.
Officials issued a pre-evacuation order of approximately 40 homes in the Ross Fork area Sunday, but the order was called off Monday morning. The fire had burned 432 acres of rangeland including 133 acres of BLM land, 82 acres of private land and 217 acres of rangeland on the Fort Hall Reservation.
Fire officials estimate 100 percent containment of the 2 1/2 Mile Fire will be achieved tonight, with estimated control by 6 p.m. on Thursday.
Three additional lightning-sparked small fires were reported Sunday—one near Massacre Rocks and two near Holbrook near the Idaho/Utah border.