Northern Idaho wildfires force evacuations, burn buildings

Hunter Fire Blanchard

BLANCHARD, Idaho (AP) — A wildfire in northern Idaho on Tuesday forced evacuations along a rural highway, and another destroyed an unknown number of structures.

The Bonner County sheriff’s office issued evacuation orders for both sides of State Highway 41 near Blanchard. The Idaho Department of Lands said the fire is at about 700 acres (280 hectares), and that additional fire crews are heading to the area.

RELATED: Evacuations issued for Hunter Fire burning near Blanchard

Officials said another fire outside Orofino destroyed buildings, but it’s not clear how many.

The agency said crews are also fighting a handful of other fires that started in recent days and have been fanned with strong winds.

Another wildfire burning in west-central Idaho has grown to 19 square miles (50 square kilometers) and forced evacuations in Washington County. A portion of State Highway 71 is closed near the Oregon border.

RELATED: Sunnyside Complex Fire burns 13 homes, 31 outbuildings in Clearwater County

Another wildfire of about 7 square miles (18 square kilometers) is burning in central Idaho near the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, about 11 miles (18 kilometers) south of the town of Yellow Pine.

The National Interagency Fire Center said there are eight large wildfires burning in Idaho.