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UPDATE: Chinese Peak Fire 50% contained

Chinese Peak Fire
Fire started burning south of Pocatello Sunday afternoon near Chinese Peak
Pocatello Fire 2
On Buckskin looking towards the head of fire.
Pocatello Fire 3
Chinese Peak Fire south of Pocatello.

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI-KIDK) - UPDATE July 20, 6:40 p.m.: The Chinese Peak Fire is now 50% contained, according to the East Idaho Interagency Fire Center.

The fire torched a little more than 1,500 acres at last count, said Kelsey Griffee with the EITFC and Bureau of Land Management. Officials now expect to completely contain the fire by Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

“They’re doing the dirty work, they’re doing the mop up which means they’re getting in that dirt, feeling around for any heat, bringing in hose and any water they can,” Griffee said.

Both Barton and North Stockman roads are expected to remain closed through the evening to keep people away from the fire.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire, but officials confirmed it started on private property and is likely human caused.

The Pocatello Fire Department was the first on the scene on Stockman Road, where the fire started. They quickly called in the Gateway Interagency Fire Front, which is a coalition of local fire agencies.

Chubbuck Fire, North Bannock County Fire District, Pocatello Valley Fire, Inkom Fire, BLM and the US Forest Service were part of the GIFF and assisted in the fire. Pocatello Police and Bannock County Sheriffs Deputies helped block roads and assist firefighters.

“I think early on, we try to be proactive and ask for more than we think we’ll need early, and in this case, we asked for it early, we got it. It’s fortunate we did, because it did continue to spread,” said Ryan O'Hearn, the assistant chief of operation at PFD.

UPDATE July 20, 8:30 a.m.: The East Idaho Interagency Fire Center says the Chinese Peak fire has burned 1451 acres since it started yesterday.

The fire is estimated to be fully contained by 7 p.m. Monday. They say the fire is 30% contained.

The fire behavior is creeping and smoldering Monday morning and expected to increase as temperatures rise and winds pick up during the day.

Firefighter will spend most of the day securing the fire perimeter, they said, with Engines working along the north and south side of the fire. Handcrews will work in the more difficult terrain along the ridgelines.

Some homeowners continue to take steps for voluntary evacuations, if needed.

No road closures are in effect, they said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


Five homes and livestock have been evacuated because of a fire burning south of Pocatello.

A reverse 911 call warning people of a possible evacuation was only meant for those in the Buckskin area, according to Pocatello Fire Department Public Information officer Kim Stauss.

Buckskin residents are the only homes on evacuation notice, she said.

The fire started near Stockman Road around 2:45 Sunday afternoon.

As of 6 p.m., the fire has burned nearly 140 acres and is 25 percent contained, fire managers said.

Air support, along with several other fire department are working to contain the fire.

They said if the wind shifts to the north there could be more evacuations. They have asked nearby residents to prepare, if needed.

"The neighbor over here is taking care of some weeds in his yard, I think we're going to start doing some spraying with some hoses and hopefully at least fight it back as much as we can if it gets here. Hopefully, the wind just keeps going and we're good," said Shawn Lund who lives near the fire.

"As long as it keeps going east, we'll be alright, but this one hill here I literally watched that burn up in the last five minutes, so it's moving pretty quick," said Lund.

Residents near the fire told us they heard fireworks just before the fire began. It unknown at this time if that is what started the fire.

No structures have not burned so far.

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