North Idaho

Big fire near Hailey, Ketchum worries officials

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- - About 600 homes were evacuated in central Idaho as fire officials took precautions ahead of a large, unpredictable blaze burning east through sage and pine trees toward the resort communities of Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley.

Fire officials said Friday high, gusty winds, low humidity and tinder-dry vegetation created unstable conditions surrounding the 85-square-mile Beaver Creek Fire.

One home was destroyed Thursday night, said Bronwyn Nickel, a spokeswoman for Blaine County, where the fire is burning.

More than 600 state and federal firefighters were dispatched to the blaze in the affluent resort region that's a second home to celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis.

n addition, private insurers have sent in their own crews to provide structural protection for homes with values that can reach tens of millions of dollars, Nickel said.


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