Firefighters in Idaho Falls and Madison County are praising the help of farmers in getting two field fires under control last night.
Idaho Falls Chief Brad Pettingill said a large brush fire scorched 588 acres west of Idaho Falls, igniting at 5:20 p.m. Called the Gun Range Fire, the blaze near the Skyline Gun Club was moving rapidly through hilly terrain, lava rock, sage brush and grass when firefighters arrived. Several cellars, a grain field, and other buildings were threatened.
Multiple BLM firefighting units, including four aircraft, joined the effort. Pettingill said farmers who ran the grain field could be credited for discing, or clearing, a fire break that helped stop the fire before it could get into the standing grain, limiting damage to $200. Firefighters were pulled off the line after dark.
Madison County firefighters fought a smaller but similar incident at 10:30 p.m., when a stubble fire got out of control in the center of a grain field near Plano. Firefighters said farmers also helped disc an area around the fire to serve as a fire break, limiting the damage.
The cause of both fires is under investigation.