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Public Meetings On Beaver Creek Fire in Blaine County

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By Michelle Bartlome

Blaine County, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) - Public meetings are set for Saturday afternoon on the Beaver Creek Fire.

Those meetings are set for:
3 PM, Community Campus, 1050 Fox Acres Rd, Hailey
7 PM, Church of the Big Wood, 100 Saddle Dr, Ketchum

Fire officials said that on Friday evening, hotshot crews, engine crews and dozers responded to areas on the west side of the highway including Zinc Spur subdivision. They also responded to Croy Canyon as the fire burned through Democrat and started down into Croy.

Along Highway 75 from Deer Creek south to Hailey, the fire was active during evening hours prompting fire managers to temporarily close the road to through traffic. The highway remained open to evacuees to leave. Firefighters in Greenhorn Gulch engaged in a significant firefight to save structures, supported by dozers and aerial assets. Fire managers are particularly concerned with spot fires that could get established on the east side of the highway when the fire builds columns and hot embers become airborne and are carried by the wind up to a mile away.

At the northern end, the fire burned up to the east fork of Baker Creek, producing a pyro-cumulous column that reached several thousand feet. The fire could potentially reach the highway on that end today. Firefighters assigned to that area are continuing their structure protection efforts. On the west, the fire advanced slightly to north of Dollarhide Summit.

A Red Flag warning has been issued on Saturday for high gusty winds and low relative humidity. Wind gusts from the southwest Saturday afternoon are expected to be 30 mph while relative humidity will dip to as low as 9 percent. Weather conditions and extremely dry fuels are combining to produce an environment for intense and erratic fire behavior.

Additional resources of all kinds continue to respond to the fire including hand crews, fire engines and support personnel.

As of Friday evening, 698 personnel are assigned to the fire, but that number will swell significantly over the weekend.

There are now 14 helicopters assigned to the fire including 5 helitankers. There are 16 handcrews , including 6 Hotshot crews, and 63 engine crews working divided shifts around the clock.

Because of the proximity of extreme fire behavior, the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office evacuated the East Fork of Wood River area between Hailey and Ketchum on the east side of Highway 75 and issued a pre-evacuation warning for Ketchum and Sun Valley, as well as many other residential areas around Hailey and Ketchum.

The latest information on evacuations can be found at www.blainesheriff.com.

Highway 75 has been closing intermittently due to fire, smoke or firefighting operations. All area residents should register for emergency alerts through the Blaine County website, at www.blainecounty.org. If you are advised to evacuate, leave immediately.

The fire was mapped early Saturday morning at 92,754 acres. Containment is now at six percent. One home, a bunkhouse and six other structures have been destroyed.


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