ATLANTA, Idaho -- The 21,000-acre Little Queens Fire continues to threaten the small, mountain town of Atlanta, Idaho. However, firefighters say a burnout operation appears to have made the situation much safer.
Fire managers say the Little Queens Fire made a large gain of over 5,000 acres on Sunday and the flames are now about 5 miles west of town.
At the same time, crews finished a critical burnout operation on the south flank of the fire, and say their efforts to reduce combustible material are likely going to pay off. The burnout reportedly started 3 days ago on the north side of Atlanta and progressed west to the Middle Fork Boise River Road.
Fire information officer James Stone said nearly 400 firefighters continue to labor very hard to cut fire lines, trim trees, and clean up material that could burn.
"Yes, it's safer in Atlanta because they've got five miles of containment line," Stone said.
As of Monday, officials say structure protection engines are slowly being withdrawn from Atlanta as the threat lessens.
The fire is expected to burn until October 30th.