A massive wildfire burning in Idaho has become the nation’s top firefighting priority. The 125 square mile blaze is threatening hundreds of homes and hundreds of people have been asked to leave.
Earlier Monday the smoke was so thick in the town of Pine that airplanes couldn't fly to dump water and retardant on the fire. Information officer David Eaker says the smoke has lifted enough so that planes can once again fly. He says the Elk Complex is close to town.
“You can see it from Pine. It’s right on the ridge-top above the town" says Eaker.
Hundreds of residents in Pine and the surrounding area have been ordered to evacuate. This same area was evacuated last year when another wildfire came close. But Eaker says this fire is not the same as last year’s and people need to leave.
“This is a totally different fire. Different conditions. Different weather conditions. This is a more serious situation" says Eaker.
The wildfire is burning through sage brush and pine trees. It could be early October before this wildfire is completely out.
Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio