COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — The Idaho Panhandle saw a string of wildfires over Fourth of July weekend.
According to the USDA Forest Service, above-average temperatures and little precipitation led to wildfires in Pend Oreille County, Clark Fork and Coeur d'Alene.
Fire officials say the fire in Priest Lake, known as the Consalus Fire, sprouted on Friday, June 30. Officials say it's estimated at 475 acres and burning in heavy dead and down timber. The fire is precisely located above Consalus Creek near the Pelke Divide in Pend Oreille County, WA. At this time, a 10-person district module, a 20-person crew from Grangeville, a dozer and an excavator are working to suppress the blaze. Two additional 20-person crews are expected to join the effort. The fire is 50% contained at this time.
The fire in Sandpoint, known as the Bee Top Fire, was reported on July 1, currently estimated at 25 acres. Located near Bee Top Mountain, district resources and smokejumpers are working to put out the fire. Additional resources are on the way, including a Type 3 Incident Management Team from the Northern Rockies.
In Coeur d'Alene, three wildfires were reported. The Hill Creek Fire near Bumblebee Peak was contained at 0.4 acres by firefighters while the Bucksin Fire was controlled at 0.2 acres. The Big Elk Fire is still burning at 0.82 acres and is expected to be out by the end of Monday, July 3. A 20-person crew is currently working to put it out.
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