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Sunday Updates On Beaver Creek Fire

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By Michelle Bartlome

Blaine County, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) - UPDATE.... 12:45 p.m.
Please be advised that the Beaver Creek Fire still poses a serious threat to the residents of Blaine County.

INDIAN CREEK AND THE VALLEY CLUB STILL REMAIN UNDER MANDATORY EVACUATION ORDERS AT THIS TIME.

Residents will be NOTIFIED IF AND WHEN IT IS SAFE for Indian Creek and the Valley Club to be returned to Pre-Evacuation Notice.

Returning pre-maturely can endanger the fire suppression efforts and the safety of residents and fire crews.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RETURN UNTIL POSTED.

UPDATE....11:45 a.m. -
At this time, the Blaine Country Sheriff's Office is anticipating that the Indian Creek area will be returning to Pre-Evacuation status on Monday.

Should current fire suppression efforts continue residents of Indian Creek will be allowed to return via the north end of Buttercup STARTING at 9:00 a.m. on Monday.

THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE OHIO GULCH AND THE HEATHERLANDS.

Residents of the Valley Club will then be allowed to return via the north end of Buttercup STARTING at 10:00 a.m. on Monday.

Residents of these areas are urged to ONLY use the north end of Buttercup as their access for the duration of the fire.

THESE AREAS REMAIN ON PRE-EVACUATION STATUS. Please maintain situational awareness and be prepared to depart again IMMEDIATELY should conditions change.

UPDATE: 11:20 a.m.

The number of personnel fighting the Beaver Creek Fire in the Hailey-Ketchum area is now at 1066. Fire activity Saturday was not the type of extreme behavior seen on Thursday and Friday, though the fire continued to grow. The fire’s size is now estimated at 100,916 acres, with containment at 9 percent. Public meetings yesterday in Hailey and Ketchum drew nearly 500 people in each town. Incident Commander Beth Lund told fire fighters at this morning’s daily briefing “the people really appreciate what you’re doing,” while she also acknowledged the anxiety being felt by residents, evacuees and visitors who are being impacted by this fire.

Another Red Flag fire weather warning has been issued for Sunday starting at 1 p.m. because of warmer temperatures and gusty winds. Fire Behavior Analyst Tobin Kelley says we could see “early active fire behavior” today. Yesterday, aircraft and ground crews worked to secure containment lines along the Highway 75 corridor between Hailey and Ketchum. A bull dozer line which runs from the top of the ski area to near the Ketchum hospital will be reinforced with retardant drops today. Yesterday, a DC-10 “Very Large Air Tanker” was used to create a line of retardant above the Croy Creek area, in an effort to prevent further spread to the south and southwest. On the north side, the fire has moved to within two miles of Highway 75 and is burning in the Kendall Gulch drainage. Crews will continue to work to protect structures in that area in advance of the fire.

At 6 o’clock Sunday morning, John Kidd’s Type 2 Incident Management Team assumed control of the western portion of the Beaver Creek Fire, now known as Zone 1. Zone 1 begins at the top of Kinsey Creek and runs north to Baker Peak, and includes all fire west of the Camas/Blaine County line. The two teams are working in close coordination to gain control of the entire Beaver Creek Fire. Both Zones working on the Beaver Fire are utilizing a shared aviation operation, including the 13 helicopters operating out the Simon helibase.

Fire activity was subdued in this area on Saturday due to the cloud cover and resulting higher humidity. Resources from the McCan Fire were transitioned to Zone 1, where they assisted in constructing dozer line on the southernmost tip of the fire, near the Zone break.
The primary objectives on Zone 1 are to limit spread to the west into Ditto Flat and to the east towards Croy Creek, to protect bull trout habitat in the Little Smoky drainage, and to secure the perimeter on the western side. At this time, the area of greatest concern for Zone 1 is north of Dollarhide Summit, where the fire has burned over the ridge and into the East Fork drainage of Big Peak Creek. Another area of concern is south of Dollarhide Summit, in the head of Pine Creek, where difficult terrain and limited access will create challenges. Fire crews working in this vicinity will be deposited by helicopter and then camp out near the fire perimeter.

Details about the fire are available at inciweb.org/incident/3635/. Current evacuation information can also be found at blainesheriff.com.

UPDATE: 10:30 a.m.

There have been no new evacuations overnight.

Please be aware that residents will be notified through the Sheriff's website www.blainesheriff.com when it is safe to return to evacuated areas.

- Original Story -

As of 12:30 am on Sunday, here is the latest information on the Beaver Creek Fire burning in Blaine County.

Cloud cover and a slight increase in relative humidity provided a much needed break for firefighters on Saturday while they worked on securing containment along the Highway 75 corridor and continued structure protection on the east flank and north end of the fire.

Hand crews and engine crews worked on anchoring the contingency line from Hailey through Croy Canyon, and completed line south of Ketchum tying into dozer lines from Castle Rock to secure Ketchum.

One large smoke column near Greenhorn Gulch was an interior island of fuel burning out. This evening the fire was dropping down off of the Carbonite range. Aerial assets dropped retardant to cool the fire's edge. Fire personnel tonight will concentrate on keeping the fire on the west side of the highway. Power was restored in Deer Creek.
Toward the north, the fire is at Baker Lake coming down into Baker Creek following the road. Fire managers say the fire was smoldering and backing in that area on Saturday. Structure protection efforts continued among summer cabins and other homes due to the fire's potential northern movement. A retardant plant was also placed toward the northeast corner of the fire. On the west, the fire did not move. Firefighters continued mop-up on that perimeter and were supported by large helicopters dropping retardant.

Sunday weather conditions are expected to remain slightly more favorable for firefighting efforts. Although winds will continue to be gusty, more moisture is expected in the air.

There are now 19 aircraft supporting the Beaver Creek Fire, including 7 heavy helicopters (out of the 22 available nationally), 5 medium and light helicopters, and 4 fixed-wing aircraft. There are 25 hand crews and 88 engine crews, 8 dozers and 20 watertenders assigned to the fire.

Blaine County Sheriff’s Office evacuated Galena Summit south to North Fork on both sides of Hwy 75, including Easley. Glassford Heights north to the SNRA on both sides of Hwy 75 including Fox Creek, Eagle Creek, Chocolate Gulch and the North Fork Trailer Park are also included. Lake Creek is listed on pre-evacuation.

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


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