Beaver Creek Fire

Sarah hedrick

Ketchum’s Iconoclast Books has been a fixture in the community for 20 years. But next month, the store will permanently close its doors unless owner Sarah Hedrick can raise $85,000 to pay off debts.

Hedrick and her late husband Gary Hunt were partners in their bookstore. They each had different jobs. Hedrick says she had all the fun ones.

“Buying and merchandising and finding new lines, that kind of stuff,” Hedrick says. “And he was definitely the person in the office.”   

Beaver Creek Fire, Wildfires
Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

The U.S. Forest Service says most of the area within a 170-square-mile wildfire that burned in central Idaho last summer will remain closed this year due to safety concerns.

The agency announced Monday that areas that burned in the Beaver Creek Fire near the resort area of Ketchum have been severely eroded.

The order closing the area applies to all human use, including mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, motorcycling and mushroom gathering.

The agency says the highest concerns include eroded trails and roads, and damaged bridges and culverts.

Wildfires, Maps
Courtesy of the Idaho Water Science Center / USGS

The Beaver Creek wildfire burned 174-square-miles in August and threatened Ketchum and Hailey. After the fire, torrential rains sent mud and rocks down burned mountainsides. Debris hit homes and covered roads.

“Some of these debris flows were 20 to 30 feet thick,” recalls Dave Evetts. He’s the assistant director for hydrologic data at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Idaho Water Science Center in Boise.

Mel Meier / InciWeb

Federal officials say they lost a prime opportunity to rehabilitate and reseed areas burned over the summer by wildfires because of the partial government shutdown.

Workers for the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management returned to work Thursday after a 16-day lay-off.

Sawtooth National Forest / InciWeb

The Beaver Creek Fire moved through 174 square miles of land in August, threatening communities in the Wood River Valley.

Steve Dondero

Warm Springs Creek is a clean and beautiful tributary of the Big Wood River in Blaine County. The creek is also a great spot for fly-fishing.

Well...normally.

But after the 174-square-mile Beaver Creek Fire was officially contained last week, heavy rain and thunderstorms moved through. That storm and the continued rain that followed brought mud, ash and debris down the mountain – and into Warm Springs Creek and the Big Wood River.

Boise National Forest

People in the West are breathing some cleaner air these days, after a summer of dangerous and smoky wildfires.

As the wildfire season begins to wind down, Ken Frederick at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise looked into this question: how does this summer's fire season stack up against prior ones? Frederick decided to tackle the topic through a short and info-packed video.

Mel Meier / InciWeb

The Beaver Creek Fire burned more than 174 square miles and endangered the towns of Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley last month. The once-enormous blaze is fully contained.

But residents in the area now have to be on alert for another danger: flash floods and mudslides over the charred land. The Times-News reports that 18 inches of mud came into the Croy Creek Canyon area overnight.

wood roof, cedar shake
WSilver / Flickr Creative Commons

A central Idaho fire chief says he will be "fighting tooth and nail" to ban wood shingles on new construction in the wake of a massive wildfire that threatened the resort area.

Ketchum Fire Chief Mike Elle tells the Idaho Mountain Express that flammable roofs put firefighters in danger and slow response times to other homes.

The 174-square-mile Beaver Creek Fire burning through Greenhorn Gulch on Aug. 15 destroyed one home but firefighters saved 30 others.

Bruce Willis Thanks Beaver Creek Firefighters With Catered Meals

Aug 29, 2013
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Actor and part-time Idaho resident Bruce Willis is showing his gratitude to the firefighters who worked the Beaver Creek Fire near Sun Valley by catering meals for them beginning Friday.

Entertainment news outlet ETOnline.com says Willis is also footing the bill for firefighters' snacks as they move to other fires.

Bronwyn Nickel / Blaine County Sheriff's Office

As wildland firefighters fought the Beaver Creek fire in the Wood River Valley last week, people in the area looked for a way to help. They wanted to show their thanks to the firefighters who protected their homes.

The Blaine County Sheriff’s office decided to ask for bandana donations. Since the drive started, they have received between 8,000-9,000 bandanas from people around the country.

InciWeb / http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3635/

The Beaver Creek fire is now 67 percent contained. The jump in fire line construction comes after several days of milder weather, including overnight rain that helped control the flames.

Boise National Forest

So far this year, 601,640 acres have burned in Idaho wildfires. The National Interagency Fire Center reports there are 10 large wildfires burning in the state, including some that have caused evacuations. With so much quickly-changing fire information, here's an update on some of the wildfires we've been talking about recently. 

Beaver Creek Fire, Wildfires
Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Not everyone fled Sun Valley, Idaho, when the huge Beaver Creek wildfire threatened the swanky resort area. Many locals remained in the surrounding communities and kept the stores, restaurants and gas stations open.

Now, firefighters are gaining the upper hand. The smoke is clearing. But without the return of vacationers, many locals worry the real disaster is economic – and that one is just beginning.

The fire raging near Sun Valley, Idaho, is serving as a wake-up call for homeowners in fire-prone areas across the Northwest. The 106,000-acre Beaver Creek Fire has burned one house.

And fire managers say it’s lucky they didn't lose more.

Steven Garman lives outside of Ketchum, Idaho. He's a retired firefighter. Garman says like many homes in the area, his house was not designed to be fire resistant.

Businesses around Sun Valley, Idaho worry the massive Beaver Creek fire will have a big impact on the tourist-dependent economy of central Idaho. Several events have already been canceled because of the blaze.

This is the new worry by business owners. First of course was the threat of fire. And now there’s the threat of fire or at least the perceived threat of it will continue to keep away tourists through a really crucial part of their business cycle.

Ashley Smith / Times-News

Update, 12:40 p.m.: The mandatory evacuation order has been lifted for residents from the hospital bridge south to East Fork Road on the east side of Highway 75. This includes residents of Cold Springs, Gimlet, and the Meadows.

The Blaine County sheriff's office says these areas will remain on pre-evacuation notice, which means they should be ready to evacuate if necessary.

The estimated cost of fighting Idaho’s Beaver Creek Fire now tops more than $11 million. Fire crews near Sun Valley, Idaho say the blaze has become manageable but is a long way from contained.

The mood at Baker’s Spike camp has changed almost over night. There is now a feeling of optimism. Crews are feeling like they can take an offensive stance against the fire instead of a defensive one. They have enough resources now where they can plan ahead and anticipate where the fire might go next, while they’re also attacking the fire.

Ashley Smith / Twin Falls Times-News

Update Aug. 20, 3:06 p.m.: More Blaine County residents can return home who were forced to evacuate because of the Beaver Creek Fire.

The latest update from the Blaine County sheriff's office reiterates that people who are allowed to go back are still under a pre-evacuation notice and should still be prepared to evacuate.

Ketchum's Wagon Days Event To Continue As Planned

Aug 20, 2013
wagon days, ketchum
WagonDays.org Screengrab

Ketchum's annual Wagon Days celebration will go on as planned, despite firefighting efforts on the Beaver Creek Fire.

The news release issued Tuesday says the event is scheduled for Aug. 28-Sept. 2.

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