With the National Fire Preparedness Level hitting the maximum of 5 on a 5-point scale for the first time since 2008, a crew of 19 wildland firefighters trained by the Delaware Forest Service are on the front lines of a fire in Idaho's Payette National Forest. U.S. Forest Service officials say the Delaware crew is now assigned to the Howard Fire, a small blaze ignited by lighting in the rugged terrain east of Riggins, Idaho and south of the Salmon River.

The Howard Fire is located about eight to 12 miles east of Riggins, Idaho on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land under protection of the Payette National Forest and is being managed by the Payette National Forest. It was started by lightning on August 18. The fire is currently around 200 acres but expected to grow – characterized by multiple tree torching and active surface fire spread. Fire crews and aerial resources are focused on the north flank of the fire to provide a containment line to prevent further fire spread into Elk Horn Creek. Total personnel on the fire: 125.

Firefighters from Smyrna, Clayton and Townsend are a part of the Delaware crew.

Trail closures will be in effect for Broken Leg Trail and Lava Butte Trail – both are motorized ATV trails.