BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. is planning to send at least 100 more firefighters to Australia to join 159 already there battling blazes that have killed 25 people and destroyed 2,000 homes. The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, said Tuesday that 90 firefighters including on-the-ground hand crews have left in recent days to fight fires that have scorched an area twice the size of the U.S. state of Maryland. Another 100 firefighters are are expected to fly out next week. Australian officials have requested the firefighters as part of a reciprocal deal that had 138 Australians coming to the U.S. to fight wildfires in 2018.
UNDATED (AP) — Relatives of two missing children are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan. Larry and Kay Woodcock, JJ’s grandparents, made the announcement in Rexburg, Idaho, on Tuesday after meeting with local and federal law enforcement. Seven-year-old JJ Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan haven’t been seen since September, and authorities say the children’s mother, Lori Daybell, and her new husband, Chad Daybell, have refused to cooperate with investigators and have repeatedly lied about where the children are. The Daybells’ whereabouts is currently unknown.
KELLOGG, Idaho (AP) — Officials say an avalanche at an Idaho ski resort killed one person, and rescuers dug out five others who had minor injuries. Silver Mountain Resort confirmed the death and injuries in a Facebook post Tuesday. It says searchers are still combing through the snow with probes and rescue dogs. The sheriff’s office said it had received reports of up to three separate avalanches on Silver Mountain in northern Idaho. KHQ-TV reports that an avalanche warning has been in effect in higher elevations of multiple north Idaho counties.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The co-chairmen of the Legislature’s powerful budget-setting committee are backing Republican Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s call for “transparent budgeting.” Republican Sen. Steve Bair and Republican Rep. Rick Youngblood said Tuesday the change is long overdue and will provide a more accurate picture of the state’s budget. The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee they co-chair for the next six weeks will be going over state agency budgets that are being trimmed 1% this year and 2% next year. The change means lump-sum transfers of money will have to be broken down into clearly defined line-item entries.