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Evacuations Lifted; Crews Continue Battling Pocatello Blaze

The Drive In fire is 50 percent contained after burning 1,275 acres.

There were about 32 homes evacuated Monday. Those people were allowed to return to their homes Tuesday morning.

The state of disaster for Bannock County will likely remain in effect until at least Wednesday or Thursday, Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Neilsen said.

Fire officials said the house that was lost to the blaze had juniper right up to the property line. Incident Commander Dan Zajanc said crews made every attempt to save the home until they were forced to leave when the fire reached the home.

Air attacks on the fire have been stopped.

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Crews are still battling the brush fire which broke out on Chinese Peak along South Fifth Ave on Monday afternoon.

The fire has burned about 1,275 acres, which is less than the estimate crews had at last check on Monday night. One home and a barn have been lost to the flames. The family living in that house had a place to stay Monday night.

Chinese Peak and Black Rock roads are closed.

The county has declared a state of disaster which allows them to call in other agencies for help battling the blaze.

Planes are resuming air efforts and dropping fire retardant to try to contain the fire. They were forced to stop in the overnight hours because the plane cannot fly at night.

Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen says officers are interviewing a group of minors to figure out how the fire may have started. He said any spectators who get in the way of crews battling the blaze will be arrested.

Investigators have questioned a group of preteens who may have started this fire by playing with matches.

The Bureau of Land Management, the Pocatello Fire Department, Pocatello Valley Fire and Fort Hall Fire have responded to the fire.

Refresh this page for updates as the story develops.

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