Beaver Creek fire burns more than 100,000 acres

8:41 AM, Aug 19, 2013   |    comments
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By Paul Vercammen, CNN

BOISE, Idaho - The Beaver Creek fire, east of Boise, Idaho, has burned more than 100,000 acres and forced thousands from their homes.

In Sun Valley, Idaho, the race to save a playground for the rich and famous took to the skies. At least 11 helicopters and 15 fixed-wing aircraft are available to continue the battle Monday against the massive beaver creek fire.

On the ground, more than 1,200 firefighters, 100 of them from five elite hot shot crews, along with almost 90 engines.

The beaver creek blaze forced the evacuation of more than 2,000 properties. Sun Valley is home to many pricey spreads including second homes reportedly owned by tom hanks and Bruce Willis.

Academy Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfus who calls Ketchum his family's hometown tweeted "thank you, firefighters, and be safe. Houses aren't worth lives."

Firefighters have been described as battling their hearts out around the clock to contain the blaze.

"They look the worst for wear but when you see that smile come across their face and then their attitude about how they're being treated and how they're being supported by our local folks, the county folks, the city folks, the state department of lands," said Gov. C.L. 'Butch' Otter.

The Sun Valley Ski Resort got creative, converting snow blowers to giant water guns, just in case.

"We have the largest snow making system in the world computerized snow making system in the world and we can turn it on in the summer time to put some humidity in the air and wet some of the areas in the Bald Mountain in case of spot fires," said Jack Sibbach, spokesperson for Sun Valley Ski Resort.

The fires in Idaho have consumed more than 400,000 acres. Late Sunday the U.S. Forest Service said it has cost more than $13.5 million to battle just the beaver creek and elk fires.


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