Wildfires
5:35 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Beaver Creek Update: 'Definite Possibility' That Fire Could Reach Sun Valley, Ketchum

beaver creek fire map
Here's a look at the Beaver Creek fire's perimeter from InciWeb.org.
Credit Inciweb.org

Update, 9:05 p.m.: Highway 75 has been re-opened.  

Mandatory evacuations:

  • Zinc Spur to Treasure Lane West of Hwy 75
  • Indian Creek
  • Ohio Gulch
  • Heatherlands (includes Valley Club)
  • Baker Creek on West side of Hwy 75 South to North Fork (SNRA Headquarters) including Easley. This does not include Galena Lodge at this time.
  • All East Fork
  • Deer Creek from the Big Wood Bridge West
  • Greenhorn Gulch, Golden Eagle, and Timber Gulch south down to Treasure Lane west of Hwy 75
  • Treasure Lane South to McKercher Blvd, including Aspen Lakes
  • Croy Creek Canyon from Big Wood Bridge West
  • North of East Fork to Hospital Bridge on east and west sides of the highway, includes Broadway Run

Pre-evacuation notices:

  • Gimlet to North Fork
  • City of Ketchum
  • City of Sun Valley
  • West of River Street in Hailey
  • North of Cedar Street in Hailey (Does not include Albertsons)

Update, 8:45 p.m.: The Blaine County sheriff's office says residents who were evacuated in Hailey west of River Street and north of Cedar Street can now return home. However, these areas will remain under pre-evacuation notice. 

St. Luke's Wood River Hospital is under mandatory evacuation orders. Spokesperson Tanya Keim says the hospital evacuated its four patients but the Emergency Room remains open and staffed.

Update, 7:25 p.m.:  The Beaver Creek fire has forced mandatory evacuations that now include parts of Hailey, Ketchum, and Sun Valley. The Blaine County sheriff's office has also closed parts of U.S. Highway 75, from Ohio Gulch, the Elkhorn light and East Fork because of the encroaching fire.

Mandatory evacuations:

  • Zinc Spur to Treasure Lane West of Hwy 75
  • Indian Creek
  • Ohio Gulch
  • Heatherlands (includes Valley Club)
  • Baker Creek on West side of Hwy 75 South to North Fork (SNRA Headquarters) including Easley. This does not include Galena Lodge at this time.
  • All East Fork
  • Deer Creek from the Big Wood Bridge West
  • Greenhorn Gulch, Golden Eagle, and Timber Gulch south down to Treasure Lane west of Hwy 75
  • Treasure Lane South to McKercher Blvd, including Aspen Lakes
  • West of River Street in Hailey
  • North of Cedar Street in Hailey (Does not include Albertsons)
  • Croy Creek Canyon from Big Wood Bridge West
  • North of East Fork to Hospital Bridge on east and west sides of the highway, includes Broadway Run

Pre-evacuation notices:

  • Gimlet to North Fork
  • City of Ketchum
  • City of Sun Valley

Update, 4:50 p.m.: The Blaine County sheriff's office now says mandatory evacuations are in effect for 1,300 homes near Ketchum and Sun Valley due to the Beaver Creek Fire.

Mandatory evacuations are now in effect for:

  • Zinc Spur to Treasure Lane West of Hwy 75
  • Indian Creek
  • Ohio Gulch
  • Heatherlands
  • Baker Creek on West side of Hwy 75 South to North Fork (SNRA Headquarters) including Easley. This does not include Galena Lodge at this time.
  • All East Fork
  • Timber Gulch South to and including Zinc Spur on West side of Highway 75 including all of Golden Eagle
  • All Greenhorn Gulch
  • Deer Creek from the Big Wood Bridge West

Update, 2:55 p.m.: New mandatory evacuations are in effect for parts of Blaine County due to the Beaver Creek Fire which is now estimated at 64,000 acres.

The Blaine County sheriff's office posted this notice at 2:45 p.m.:

MANDATORY EVACUATION AREAS--Take your essentials belongings and pet and GO NOW

**Baker Creek on West side of Hwy 75 South to North Fork (SNRA Headquarters) including Easley. This does not include Galena Lodge at this time.

**All East Fork

**Timber Gulch South to and including Zinc Spur on West side of Highway 75 including all of Golden Eagle

**All Greenhorn Gulch

**Deer Creek from the Big Wood Bridge West

Residents are encouraged to evacuate SOUTH

Avoid Ketchum and Sun Valley areas.

If you are physically unable to evacuate call 911
All Services to these areas will be discontinued
You will not be allowed to re-enter the area until the danger has passed.

PRE-EVACUATION AREAS

** Croy Creek Canyon from Big Wood Bridge West

**Indian Creek to North Fork (below SNRA Headquarters)on both sides of Hwy 75 . This includes Warm Springs and the Cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley

**Below Zinc Spur South to North end of Treasure Lane on the West side of Hwy 75

Begin preparations now so that you can leave immediately if conditions deteriorate. If you are in danger, DO NOT WAIT for a Evacuation Order.

Residents in Pre-Evacuation areas are strongly encouraged to initiate evacuation procedures at this time to alleviate traffic congestion on Highway 75.

Update, 1:34 p.m.: The Blaine County sheriff's office has expanded pre-evacuation notices for the Croy Creek area in the Wood River Valley. 

In the online update, the sheriff's office "strongly encourages" residents in the area to prepare for evacuations should they become mandatory.  

Beaver Creek Fire burning near Ketchum, Idaho.
Beaver Creek Fire burning near Ketchum, Idaho.
Credit USFS/InciWeb

Update, 12:00 p.m.: The cities of Sun Valley and Ketchum have been issued pre-evacuation notices. Residents are being asked to prepare for a possible evacuation. 

If you are evacuating and need a place to go, the Community Campus in Hailey is the Red Cross location. There is room for 150 people at the shelter.

Here's the latest from the Blaine County Sheriff:

ATTENTION ALL AREAS from Indian Creek to North Fork (SNRA Headquarters) on both sides of Hwy 75 including Warm Springs, and the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley are under pre-evacuation orders due to the Beaver Creek Fire.

Due to the serious circumstances of the fire and unpredictable nature of wind and fire patterns, Emergency Managers in the valley need to alleviate impacts of all non-essential travel on Highway 75.

It is recommended that if you do not need to travel north to the Ketchum/Sun Valley area that you avoid doing so.

Additionally if you are currently in the North Valley and live South we strongly recommend that you make preparations to return to your homes and families as soon as possible.

Residents in Pre-Evacuation areas are strongly encouraged to initiate evacuation procedures at this time to alleviate traffic congestion on Highway 75.

MANDATORY EVACUATION AREAS--Take your essentials belongings and pet and GO NOW**Baker Creek on West side of Hwy 75 South to North Fork including Easley.
  This does not include Galena Lodge at this time.
**All East Fork
**Timber Gulch South to and including Zinc Spur on West side of Highway 75 including all of Golden Eagle
**All Greenhorn Gulch
**Deer Creek from the Big Wood Bridge West

Pre-evacuation notices have also been issued for Indian Creek to North Fork on both sides of Hwy 75. 
**Below Zinc Spur South to North end of Treasure Lane on the West side of Hwy 75

Update, 11:10 a.m.  Residents of Ketchum may have to evacuate their city.  The Blaine County Sheriff's Office says residents should begin to prepare to leave, but evacuations are not mandatory.  However, mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for Baker Creek on West side of Hwy 75 South to North Fork including Easley. (This does not include Galena Lodge at this time.)  The latest mandatory evacuations also include all of East Fork.  Residents are being told to drive south out of the area. 

Take your essentials belongings and pet and GO NOW<

**Baker Creek on West side of Hwy 75 South to North Fork including Easley. This does not include Galena Lodge at this time.
**All East Fork

Residents are encouraged to evacuate SOUTH
If you are physically unable to evacuate call 911
All Services to these areas will be discontinued
You will not be allowed to re-enter the area until the danger has passed.


NEW PRE-EVACUATION AREAS

**Indian Creek to North Fork on both sides of Hwy 75 including Warm Springs and the City of Ketchum

Begin preparations now so that you can leave immediately if conditions deteriorate. If you are in danger, DO NOT WAIT for a Evacuation Order.

Residents with no means of transportation or who are physically unable to evacuate on their own, should ask a neighbor or call (208)578-3831. Services to your area may be discontinued during this time.

-Blaine County Sheriff's Website update posted at 10:40 AM

Update, 11:03 a.m.:  The Blaine County Sheriff has issued a pre-evacuation order for the city of Ketchum.  Residents are not being told to leave, but should begin packing in case they're told to evacuate.

Watch for the latest evacuation information here, or at the Blaine County Sheriff's website.

Update, 10:10 a.m.:  The Beaver Creek Fire's advancement north toward the towns of Ketchum and Sun Valley now has firefighters conducting structure assessments.  It's the first real sign that fire managers think the fire could affect those communities - and not just outlying neighborhoods.

"That's definitely a possibility," said Jake Brollier, a public information officer working on the fire. "The way it's burning, there's no reason why it couldn't."

Brollier says the assessments will give firefighters an idea of what properties are in the areas should evacuations be ordered. Firefighters are also looking at what homes are the most defensible. 

Update, 9:47 a.m.:  The latest update from those fighting the Beaver Creek Fire in Blaine County shows the fire burned about 11,000 acres Thursday and has now burned 55,000 total acres. "Extremely active" fire behavior is expected in the area again today.

Another red flag warning is in effect. Forecasters are predicting wind gusts of 30 mph and humidity falling to the single digits. 

The update also outlines where firefighters will focus their efforts on Friday:

Firefighters today will continue structure protection efforts and expand the area they are working in. In addition to continuing structure protection in Deer Creek and Zinc Spur, Greenhorn Gulch, Timber Gulch, Golden Eagle, there will be engine crews in the communities of Ketchum and Sun Valley. A retardant plant will be re-located near Ketchum today, for rapid turn around and effective response.

Thursday the fire entered the old Castle Rock burn area through Warfield and Warm Springs creeks. Fire managers say the old burn scar remains a significant buffer in places where it burned clean. The fire also burned across Greenhorn Gulch to the north and near Timber Gulch. On the north end, the fire reached Baker Creek. On the west flank it moved west of Dollarhide Summit. Firefighters kept the fire east of Ditto Flat and east of Little Smoky Creek. 

-InciWeb update on the Beaver Creek Fire, 9:11 AM Friday

Original post:  The Blaine County sheriff's office says Highway 75 between Ketchum and Hailey remains open this morning, but warns fire conditions could change that. 

The Beaver Creek Fire forced more mandatory evacuations late Thursday, and now affect all of the Greenhorn Gulch area, as well as parts of Deer Creek and Timber Gulch South. Police are also telling residents in several other areas to be packing in preparation for evacuations.  

Crews winding down their work on other area fires are being sent to bolster those working the Beaver Creek Fire.  Nearly 630 people are on the fire. A large DC-10 air tanker was among the air resources battling the fire Thursday.

Smoke is likely to continue polluting the air in nearby towns.  Air quality in Ketchum was bad again Thursday, and forecasters say it will be again Friday. The forecast for air quality from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality shows conditions in Ketchum are expected to be "very unhealthy."

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