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Eye On Boise

Firefighters turn corner on fighting Beaver Creek fire

Firefighters have turned the corner on the Beaver Creek fire near Sun Valley and Ketchum, the Idaho Statesman reports today, with a combination of a massive aerial assault and several thousand firefighters working on the ground cooling hot spots and allowing pre-evacuation orders to be lifted for parts of Ketchum and Sun Valley, though many areas remain evacuated.  Statesman reporters Rocky Barker and Katie Terhune have a full report here. All told, today 1,850 homes remained under mandatory evacuation orders, and 5500 homes under pre-evacuation notices. 

Meanwhile, Boise State Public Radio reports today that the cost of fighting the explosive Beaver Creek fire is closing in on $11 million; read their full report here.

This morning, the National Interagency Fire Center announced that the nation's fire preparedness level has been elevated to its highest level, PL-5, for the fifth time in the last 10 years. Top federal and state fire managers made the announcement, saying, “The raised level reflects a high degree of wildfire activity, a major commitment of fire resources, and the probability that severe conditions will continue for at least a few days. ”

At the PL-5 level, additional military assistance may be requested along with international resources. The fire forecast for most of the West shows a general continuation of hot and dry weather into the fall, NIFC reports.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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