Photos: Massive Idaho wildfires burn thousands of acres
(CNN) — Cloud cover and higher humidity slowed the growth of a wildfire burning in central Idaho this weekend, but officials warned they’re not out of the woods yet.
The Beaver Creek Fire has burned some 100,916 acres, up from nearly 93,000 on Saturday and 64,000 acres on Friday. It is 9% contained.
“It’s pretty tough all the way around,” said Stephen Dane, a fire spokesman.
“But we have some veteran firefighters who know what they are doing and they are fighting their hearts out. They are doing an amazing job, working night and day. They are not giving this fire any slack.”
Approximately 1,200 firefighters are working the blaze, with the help of helicopters, bulldozers and conventional engines, Dane said.
The fire, located northwest of Hailey and some six miles south of Ketchum, has forced nearby residents to flee.
Mandatory evacuation orders had grown from 1,600 homes to more than 2,200 homes by late Saturday afternoon.
“I remember how fast those flames can move. I just got out of there,” David Seidler, a Ketchum resident, told CNN affiliate KTVB.
“This is real serious, I was prepared to leave anyway. And it was only as I was going out, I saw the police there. They said, ‘It’s mandatory.’ I said, ‘It’s mandatory for me right now anyway.’”
According to Dane, the fire has scorched eight structures so far, including a commercial building. No one has been injured.
He said that he’d heard that Sun Valley — home to a well-known ski resort — was using snow blowers and sprinklers to shoot water on the mountainside.
“There’s still a bit of distance before the fire would get to Bald Mountain, the ski resort area, but they are protecting the area just in case,” he said.
The Beaver Creek Fire was ignited by lightning on August 7.
It’s not the only fire burning in the state.
At least nine large fires have scorched 407,883 acres across Idaho, which is experiencing the most wildland fire activity of any state, according to the Boise-based National Interagency Fire Center.
“As some of the other large fires in Idaho such as the Elk Fire have ramped down, we have been able to transfer a lot of resources from there to the Beaver Creek Fire,” said Jennifer Mislivy, a fire spokeswoman.
“Also, if conditions do not get worse, we will be able to lift some mandatory evacuations about 9 tomorrow morning, possibly allowing residents of about 200 homes to return,” she said.