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Lightning-Sparked Idaho Fire Burns More Than 90,000 Acres

Idaho wildfire
The above satellite image is from Sunday, Aug. 11, when the fire was already causing smoke to stretch across central Idaho. (Image credit: NASA.)

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A fire that sparked in Elmore County, Idaho, has grown exponentially since Thursday evening.

Also known as the Elk Fire, the initial flare, which started from a lightning storm, swelled to 98,413 acres in just a matter of days.

Most of this fire is in an extremely rural area and is not currently threatening any homes or structures; however, smoke has been spreading far and wide.

Winds Monday allowed smoke to drift all the way to Boise and Hailey, making for hazy conditions across the area.

RELATED: Northwest Regional Radar Significant Increase in Fire Risk Projected by 2100 for Western U.S. Idaho Weather Radar

The visibility has been poor in the area for days, and was so hampered on Saturday when Idaho law enforcement were scouring central Idaho for missing teen Hannah Anderson, who was kidnapped in early August and taken into the Idaho wilderness.

Unfortunately, as of early Tuesday afternoon, the fire was only 5 percent contained.

Due to vast area the fire covers, as well as the tricky terrain, firefighters don't expect the blaze to be fully contained until the start of October.

Multiple road closures are likely to continue, including roads off of I-84, where Stage 1 fire restrictions remain in place. More details on closures are available here.

Spotty storms could also erupt Monday evening, especially in the higher terrain. Not only does this risk bring even further danger to firefighters battling the blaze, but lightning could spark even more fires in the area.

Otherwise, dry and hot conditions are expected to persist throughout the week, bringing little help to the containment effort.

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