BANKS, Idaho -- The Idaho Transportation Department says Highway 55 from Gardena Road to Smith's Ferry Drive / High Valley Road (milepost 75 to 97) will reopen Friday evening. The highway is back open as of 6:40 p.m. Friday, it was closed since just before 6 a.m. Friday.
Officials say the the Springs Fire forced the closure of a section of Idaho 55 near Banks.
U.S. Forest Service officials say wildfire, falling rocks, and debris on the roadway are the reasons for today's closure.
ITD says heavy smoke and rock slides have been a concern for drivers. Drivers should be alert and use caution and expect delays when traveling along Highway 55.
Boise County dispatch tells us that Highway 17 (Banks to Lowman Road) is open.
Both highways have been intermittently closed since Monday due to the Springs Fire.
SPRINGS FIRE BREAKS OUT
David Olson with the Boise National Forest says the Springs Fire started near the Skinny Dipper hot springs on Sunday. Olson says Forest Service officials are interviewing campers, hikers, and other recreationists to learn more about how it may have started.
Olson says around 3,500 acres have burned in the fire so far.
Nearly 300 firefighters are battling the blaze, with hand crews, engines, helicopters and air tankers involved.
No word yet on when the fire will be contained.
A new, 300-acre spot-fire broke out late Monday night on the south side of the South Fork Payette River, about two miles east of Banks.
The fire activity is leading to precautionary, but not mandatory, evacuation notices for the Banks area. Officials say those notices are mostly for properties in the Phillips Creek and Frazier Creek areas.
Rafters on the South Fork Payette River will need to use caution traveling the river where the helicopters are dipping.