2.3K Evacuated in Idaho Wildfire

Vast, rapidly moving blaze threatens ski resort

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 18, 2013 9:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – At least 2,300 residences have been evacuated near the posh ski resort of Ketchum, Idaho, as an 11-day-old wildfire classified as the nation's top-priority fire threatened homes and subdivisions. The blaze was pushing north yesterday, even as officials said they were making progress. "It was a good day from the standpoint that we had no injuries, no lives lost, and no homes and property burned," said a fire spokeswoman. "We're simply not going to leave homes unprotected."

More than 700 firefighters are battling the blaze, which the AP reports is 6% contained and had grown to 144 square miles as of Friday night. Firefighters deployed a DC-10 tanker to drop fire retardant on the area, given the immense heat and rapid pace of the fire. "This fire is consuming everything," says another spokeswoman. "The fire is so hot, it's just cremating even the biggest trees." Celebrities including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks, and Bruce Willis own homes in the area, which is home to the Sun Valley Ski Resort.

Fire creeps slowing down the western canyon wall above the Wood River in Hailey where firefighters continue to battle the Beaver Creek Fire, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013.
Fire creeps slowing down the western canyon wall above the Wood River in Hailey where firefighters continue to battle the Beaver Creek Fire, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Darin Oswald)
A helicopter descends in the Golden Eagle Subdivsion to refill with water from a pond while battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho.
A helicopter descends in the Golden Eagle Subdivsion to refill with water from a pond while battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho.   (AP Photo/Times-News, Ashley Smith)
A helicopter descends in the Golden Eagle Subdivision to refill with water from a pond while battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, north of Hailey, Idaho.
A helicopter descends in the Golden Eagle Subdivision to refill with water from a pond while battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, north of Hailey, Idaho.   (AP Photo/Times-News, Ashley Smith)
A helicopter descends in the Golden Eagle Subdivision to refill with water from a pond while battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, north of Hailey, Idaho.
A helicopter descends in the Golden Eagle Subdivision to refill with water from a pond while battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, north of Hailey, Idaho.   (AP Photo/Times-News, Ashley Smith)
A helicopter makes a drop while battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, north of Hailey, Idaho.
A helicopter makes a drop while battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, north of Hailey, Idaho.   (AP Photo/Times-News, Ashley Smith)
Members of the Prescott Hotshots mop up part of the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, west of Hailey, Idaho.
Members of the Prescott Hotshots mop up part of the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, west of Hailey, Idaho.   (AP Photo/Times-News, Ashley Smith)
Pila Malolo, with the Bonneville Hotshots, talks with crew members battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, north of Hailey, Idaho.
Pila Malolo, with the Bonneville Hotshots, talks with crew members battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, north of Hailey, Idaho.   (AP Photo/Times-News, Ashley Smith)
Jeff Perry, of the Eagle Fire Department, holds a leaf with fire retardant on it, while fighting the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, north of Hailey, Idaho.
Jeff Perry, of the Eagle Fire Department, holds a leaf with fire retardant on it, while fighting the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, north of Hailey, Idaho.   (AP Photo/Times-News, Ashley Smith)
Kristie Lambert takes photos of the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, north of Hailey, Idaho.
Kristie Lambert takes photos of the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, north of Hailey, Idaho.   (AP Photo/Times-News, Ashley Smith)
Flames roll down a ridge from the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, north of Hailey, Idaho.
Flames roll down a ridge from the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, north of Hailey, Idaho.   (AP Photo/Times-News, Ashley Smith)
A member of the Blaine County Sheriff Department enforces the closure of Idaho Highway 75, near the 64,000-acre Beaver Creek Fire, on Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho.
A member of the Blaine County Sheriff Department enforces the closure of Idaho Highway 75, near the 64,000-acre Beaver Creek Fire, on Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho.   (AP Photo/Times-News,Ashley Smith)
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