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RAIN HELPS IDAHO FIRE CREWS REIN IN BOISE-AREA BLAZES

Showers and low temperatures helped firefighters contain one large forest fire Sunday and gain on another, as would-be Labor Day weekend campers apparently heeded pleas to stay out of the woods.

Fire bosses estimated crews could complete containment lines Monday around the 13,000-acre Dunnigan Creek fire, about 20 miles northeast of Boise.On Sunday, they contained the 2,285-acre Tomato Point fire in central Idaho's Payette National Forest.

Fires have blackened nearly 600,000 acres of Idaho forest and rangeland this year.

But rain was falling Sunday and temperatures were in the 50s around the Dunnigan Creek fire, giving firefighters an advantage. Fewer campers also turned out this Labor Day weekend, making it easier for firefighters to work.

"The campgrounds aren't nearly as full as they usually are," said Boise National Forest spokesman Tommy Fulgham. "We've been getting a lot of phone calls, so I suspect . . . the plea to stay out of the woods helped to lighten the load."

About 1,600 firefighters remained on the blaze, which had threatened rural homes after it broke out on the edge of the Rim View subdivision Wednesday.

Weather also was cool and rainy in central Idaho, where 630 firefighers, down from a peak of 870, were working on the Tomato Point blaze Sunday.

With fires blackening so much of the Idaho forests after six years of drought, officials put more restrictions on back-country activity into effect this weekend.

The use of chain saws to cut firewood was banned around the clock, and Boise National Forest Supervisor Steve Mealey signed an order banning riding of motorized vehicles off forest roads.