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Extreme weather conditions continue to challenge northern Idaho's wildfire suppression


BOISE, Idaho — Extreme fire weather conditions could prove troublesome for firefighters currently working to suppress Idaho's largest wildfires.

Weather officials have issued a red flag warning in northern Idaho's forests, predicting dry thunderstorms and strong wind gusts.

The weather patterns could make it difficult for firefighters battling the Johnson Bar fire burning southeast of Syringa in the Nez Perce National Forest.

The fire has burned nearly 5 square miles since it sparked on Aug. 3. None of the fire's perimeter has been contained; instead spot fires continue to advance throughout the forest's plentiful downed timber.

The 101-square mile Big Cougar fire burning near the Oregon and Washington border is nearly 70 percent contained. All evacuation notices have been lifted and firefighters expect to continue to make significant progress suppressing the flames Tuesday.

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