More crews to help douse wildfires

2013-08-18 19:02
(Photo:  AP)

(Photo: AP)

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Hailey - More people were forced from their homes outside the posh central Idaho ski town of Ketchum on Sunday as a wildfire stoked by strong winds made a push to the north.

The number of residences evacuated by the blaze rose to more than 2 300 by Saturday evening.

Despite the adverse conditions and extreme fire behaviour, some progress was made on the Beaver Creek fire's south end, where crews conducted mop-up along the borders of blackened foothills.

Lightning ignited the blaze on 7 August.

Fire officials estimated it grew to 373ha² on Friday night, fed by dry timber and underbrush. The fire is 6% contained.

More than 700 firefighters have been deployed to the mountains west of this affluent region, where celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis own pricey getaways.

Five more hotshot crews arrived on Saturday and more are expected to arrive to continue focusing on protecting homes in a sparsely populated county.

Elsewhere, in northern Utah, about 10 homes were destroyed when a wildfire raced through the community of Willow Springs, about 96km southwest of Salt Lake City.

The Beaver Creek fire is the nation's top-priority wildfire, in part because it's burning so close to homes and subdivisions.

Read more on:    us  |  fire

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