The Dixie fire, which was 400 acres Monday afternoon, has grown to over 11,000 acres in Idaho's Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest. A Type 1 Northern Rockies National Incident Management Team 2 took over firefighting efforts Thursday morning, July 8.

The fire is 40 miles southeast of Grangeville, Idaho and 15 miles south of Elk City. Evacuations have been issued for the Dixie and Comstock and Mallard Creek areas by the Idaho County Sheriff's Office. The fire has been spreading in all directions and the conditions indicate that activity will continue through Thursday. Crews are working on structure protection and improving the roads and fuel breaks near the communities.

Smoke from the Dixie fire has been consistently reaching the southern half of the Bitterroot Valley, reducing visibility and adding to general haze being produced by numerous other wildfires in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California. Thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon and evening produced a number of new fires in the Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest in Idaho. In Montana, the Bitterroot National Forest responded to at least six small fires and the Lolo National Forest had reports of multiple fires on the western portion of that forest, including the Superior and Plains-Thompson Falls Ranger Districts. A type 1 Incident Management Team is coming into the Lolo Forest to manage the numerous fires. And more "hold over" lighting-caused fires are expected to be found in the next few days.

Fire danger in Idaho is "Extreme" and fire danger on the Bitterroot National Forest is "Very High." No rain is predicted for the next week, with temperatures continuing into the 90s.

Air tanker dropping retardant. (USFS-provided photo)

KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...