LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

BOISE --A wildfire burningin the Eagle foothills Wednesday afternoon destroyed three homes and a barn, and forced the evacuation of hundred of homes.

As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, fire officials reported the fire was 100% contained.

Officials said no one was injured but, the blaze destroyedstructures are in the area of Homer and Smoky Ridge and Homer and Skyline Drive.

A storm moving through the valley earlier in the day sparked a grass fire east of Highway 16 near Linder and Homer roads.

The latest estimate is that 4,857 acres have been charred, down from an earlier estimate of 6,000 acres.The fire has moved east across the foothills toward Highway 55. Most residents in the blackened areaswere not being allowed back in their homes as fire crews continued to douse hot spots.

Idaho's Chief Meteorologist Rick Lantz says more thunderstorms are expected to move into the valley tonight. There is added concern those storms could bring high winds.

The winds picked up again this afternoon and fire officials say additional homes northeast of Homer Roadand Ballantyne, stretching east to Quarter Drive were threatened by the flames.

Ada County Sheriff's deputies and Eagle Police officersevacuated homes in the area. A call also went out on a geocast, a type of reverse 911 that warns residents about dangers such as this.

Residentswere told to go to Eagle High School at 574 N. Park Lane. The Red Cross has set up a shelter at the high school and is providing cots, blankets, water and food.

Boise Fire spokeswoman Lynn Hightowersaid that all homes north of Valli High east to Willow Creekwere being evacuated.

This wildfire continued to pose problems for firefighters throughout the afternoon because of the winds.Also, getting enough water to fight the firewas an issue.

Therewere 300 firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Lands, Eagle, Star, Meridian, Boise and Caldwell fire departments battling the wildfire. A callwent out for additional firefighting help. Crewsmade a heavy aerial assault with helicopter water bucket drops and retardant drops from air tankers.

The BLMhad five air tankers, two helicopters, 12 engines and two Hot Shot crews - one from Boise and one from Vale, Oregon - working the fire. A Hot Shot crew is made up of 21 members that are specially trained incutting fire lines quickly. Threebulldozers were used to cut fire lines.

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.

The firecrested the rim around 3:30 p.m. and firefighters were moved to safer ground.There have been no injuries to report.

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 thunderstormsmoved 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.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.nwcn.com/story/news/2014/07/30/12906218/