Lightning starts largest fire of the season near Table Butte

Firefighters work to control the Table Butte fire July 2 near the Camas Monteview Road. The fire burned over 800 acres of grass and brush and was the largest fire this season.

A lightning strike started a fire north of Table Butte that burned more than 800 acres of grass and brush July 2.

The fire began at approximately 2 p.m. five miles east of Camas, Idaho, on Bureau of Land Management property, according to a BLM press release. The Camas Monteview Road was closed from 4 p.m. to just before 7 p.m. while fire crews held the fire at the road, said Kelsey Griffee, a BLM fire information officer.

The BLM and United States Forest service had eight fire engines, one helicopter and one bulldozer combating the fire. Nearby fire crews also helped. The Hamer Fire Department sent in two fire engines, Roberts sent in one and Madison sent in three. The Camas Creek Rangeland Fire Protection Association also assisted. Firefighters fully contained the fire at 9 p.m. July 2 and had it controlled by the evening of July 3. No structures were threatened by the fire and no one needed to be evacuated.

Griffee said this was the first large fire in eastern Idaho this year. She said the start of the fire season in the area has been slow due to wet weather, but she said that same weather means there is the potential for greater fire risk later in the year.

“We have seen an increase in grass growth, which equates to more fuel for fire,” she said. “So we do have the potential this season to see some large fires as the weather dries out.”

Griffee said people people should remember to be safe while recreating during the summer season.

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