BOISE -- Thunderstorms kept area fire crews busy Tuesday night as lightning strikes sparked several new fires. Luckily, the new starts in the Boise area were quickly tamped down by the accompanying rain.
Boise Fire Department Battalion Chief Jim Gross said most of the lightning began around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. His crews were called out four times when the strikes ignited grass or other fuel south of Boise.
Three of those fires spread to more than an acre. But Gross says it is fortunate the storms brought rain to the Treasure Valley as well. Luckily it was a wet storm, so we didn't have any dry lightning, he said. All the lightning strikes that caused fires were kind of dampened down by the wet weather, so that gave us an edge to get on them and keep them small and get them contained right away.
The night's biggest lightning fire started off of Gowen Road, near the WinCo warehouse. Firefighters tackling that blaze were able to get it under control before it spread. A couple structures were threatened, but the crews were able to keep them in check and no structures burned, Gross said.
Boise Bureau of Land Management crews also responded to a handful of fires overnight. But Boise County had the most fires start due to lightning last night. Dispatchers say more than 10 new fires started there. Half of those burned near Garden Valley in steep terrain where firefighters could not reach them Tuesday night.