A relatively small fire burned on a sacred area of the Indian reservation, prompting officials to label the blaze as a top priority. The fire at Mount Putnam near Pocatello remained at 50 acres by late July 30, but crews gave it more attention because the area is a burial ground and favorite place for members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe to pray. It also is one of the only places left on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation with much timber, and the spruce trees there are dry and burn quickly. The Putnam fire was one of three labeled as a high priority by the Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire Center on Sunday night. The others were the Moonshine blaze west of Arbon Valley and the West Fork fire west of Lava Hot Springs. Crews have been struggling with the 9-square-mile Moonshine fire because it keeps jumping fire lines. Officials said the blaze was 50 percent contained as of Sunday night, but it could threaten homes in the area. The 250-acre West Fork fire was 75 percent contained, but its proximity to homes caused officials to implement an evacuation plan in case of emergency.
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