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Former Evacuee Weighs In On The Beaver Creek Fire

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By Brittany Cooper

Hailey, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The Beaver Creek Fire has finally reached the two week mark. The lightning– caused fire has burned more than 108,000 acres and is currently 30% contained. Fortunately for local residents, many of the evacuation orders have been lifted.

Mike and Terry Burke are finally home after receiving evacuation orders last week.

As Mike explains, "believe me it was a big, big relief to hear that news. We stopped and thanked the hotshot crew at the bottom of our subdivision."

A resident of Hailey for 37 years, Burke experienced the Castle Rock Fire in 2007, but this one was more intense. He recalls the moment he had to gather the family to leave.

"You just pick up as quickly as possible and go wherever you end to go," adds Mike.

Signs like the one behind me are spotted all up and down Highway 75. While residents are expressing a sigh of relief after containment reached 30%, officials say the battle isn't over.

Fire Information Officer Andy Lyon says, "the containment number makes everyone feel better, but it's just a gauge of an area of the fire that either has been extinguished by aerial resources dropping water on it or hand crews scraping in the dirt or sometimes the fire has run up against rocks and just run out of things to burn. And we've checked it and the fire is out of that area."

Crews are still concerned over the future potential for thunderstorms and the resulting gusty winds.

"The trees and the grasses and the brush are explosively dry in this area. They are way dryer than they historically are over time," adds Lyon.

Right now, it's a working partnership between the firefighters, law enforcement and the community.

Lyon says, "some trails are closed, the forest land is closed, we're trying to get things back to normal just as quickly as we can."

More pre–evacuation orders have been lifted Wednesday. This includes hospital bridge north to Saddle Road and Warm Springs Road to Upper Board Ranch where the pavement ends.


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