Update: Grassy Ridge fire exceeds 71,000 acres

The Grassy Ridge fire burned actively all through the night propelled by erratic winds and thunder cells. Fire officials estimated it to be more than 71,000 acres in size as of 5 p.m. Saturday. Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire Center

The lightning-caused Grassy Ridge fire northwest of St. Anthony has grown to an estimated 71,600 acres on Bureau of Land Management and state lands.

The fire, which started at about 3 p.m. Thursday, is now threatening structures, an Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire Center news release said.

Thunderstorms tracked over the fire through the night Friday bringing gusty outflow winds that resulted in extreme fire behavior propelling the fire’s growth. Fire officials confirm the loss of of cattle despite firefighters’ efforts, the release said. The grazing permitee has been notified. An earlier release said the cattle losses exceeded 100 head, but as of 5 p.m. Saturday the estimate had been revised to say the number has not been determined.

A Great Basin Type-2 Team has been ordered and will in brief at 8 p.m.

The fire is being fought with 13 engines from the BLM, United States Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and Idaho Department of Lands. Multiple county and rural fire departments are assisting. Firefighting resources include a handcrew and four bulldozers. Fire retardant has is being dropped on the fire, the release said.

The Eastern Idaho Interagency Dispatch Center continues to work closely with county, local and volunteer fire departments along with the Camas Creek Rural Fire Protection Association in fighting the fire, the release said.

No evacuations have been ordered but Red Road is closed from the sand dunes to the Kilgore Road.

The fire is estimated to be 20 percent contained but there is no estimated containment date.

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