BOISE -- A wildfire burning in the Eagle foothills has flared up again and forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes in the area. At least two homes have been damaged by the fire according to Boise Fire officials.
A storm moving through the valley earlier today sparked a grass fire east of Highway 16 in Star, near Linder and Homer roads. Fire officials say about 400 acres have been charred.
The winds have picked up again this afternoon and fire officials say additional homes northeast of Homer Road and Ballantyne, stretching east to Quarter Drive are threatened.
Ada County Sheriff's deputies and Eagle Police officers are going door to door to evacuate homes in the area. Residents are being told to go to Eagle High School.
Boise Fire spokeswoman Lynn Hightower reports that all homes north of Valli High east to Willow Creek are being evacuated.
This wildfire continues to pose problems for firefighters. And now getting enough water to fight the fire is an issue.
There are now 300 firefighters from the BLM, Idaho Department of Lands, Eagle, Star, Meridian, Boise and Caldwell fire departments on scene.
About three homes were threatened earlier in the afternoon, but crews worked quickly and were about to get fire lines around those residences. Crews from above made water and retardant drops.
"We've all known that this is just a tinder box ready to go. And of course, living in the foothills you always worry about this," said homeowner Carol Telford.
Telford was shopping in Eagle when she learned that flames were creeping toward her home. She says a few years ago another grass fire came close to her house.
Katie Ingram lives in that area and said she saw some horses running down the road, but was able to corral them. She was worried when she first spotted the fast-moving fire, but expressed relief that flames did not claim any homes.
Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan says their top priority is keeping people safe and structure protection. A few sheds went up in flames, but no homes have been lost. He estimates the fire has charred about 300 to 400 acres.
The fire has crested the rim and firefighters have been moved to safer ground. There is concern about winds picking up.
Initially it was reported there was another fire near the Avimor subdivision along Highway 55 north of Boise, but authorities say that is not the case. It was merely smoke from the fire near Highway 16.
Investigators believe lightning caused the fire, since thunderstorms moved through the area this morning.
A red flag warning remains in effect for much of southwest Idaho.
A red flag warning means that the current conditions could mean severe fire danger.
Abundant lightning and dry fuels is the reason for the warning.
Idaho's Chief Meteorologist Rick Lantz says more thunderstorms are expected to move in from the west this afternoon.
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