Idaho Wildfire Spreads To 100,000 Acres, Evacuations Remain In Place

An Idaho wildfire spread to 100,000 acres on Sunday as 2,500 homes remained under evacuation. The Beaver Creek Fire is located near popular resort area Sun Valley.

The 10-day-old blaze remained stubborn as more than 1,200 firefighters worked to contain it. It has also forced authorities to place a pre-evacuation order on both Ketchum and Sun Valley.

Forest Service crews, local fire departments, and private crews hired by insurers and homeowners, are currently battling the main blaze, spot fires, and trying to protect homes from the blaze, reports USA Today.

Despite its large acreage, the Idaho wildfire has only overtaken two structures so far. However, it still remains a threat along a 20-mile stretch of Highway 75.

Along with the large crew, seven helicopters have also been assigned to the fire. The copters are helping bulldozers contain the fire by spreading fire retardant along the fire-prevention trenches.

Both of the United States’ DC-10 retardant bombers have also been in use. However one experienced an engine issue on Thursday and has not been in service since. While the town has not been evacuated yet, Ketchum appeared as a ghost town on Sunday.

Fox News notes that the fire is nine percent contained so far, though fire managers are confident that the additional crews that arrived on Sunday could help turn the tides. Fire spokeswoman Shawna Hartman explained that the crews are “very optimistic that we will reinforce those lines.”

Sun Valley is a resort hotspot and considered a second Hollywood. Along with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis also own pricey homes in the area. Most of Sunday’s work on the fire was containment as firefighters created protective firebreaks. While they weren’t required to leave, residents in Ketchum packed up and headed away as businesses closed.

The area will likely be hit hard by the evacuations, as August is normally one of the area’s most popular months for tourists. It is unclear how long it will take for crews to contain the Idaho wildfire.

[Image by Frank Kovalchek via Wikimedia Commons]

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