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.