BLAINE COUNTY -- Residents of several rural areas threatened by the Beaver Creek Fire have been evacuated, and at least one structure has burned, according to the Blaine County Sheriff's Office.
The rural neighborhoods currently evacuated due to the fire include:
- Greenhorn Gulch, from the arch west, but not including Golden Eagle
- Deer Creek, from the Big Wood bridge west
- Timber Gulch South to and including Zinc Spur on West side of Highway 75 including all of Golden Eagle
A pre-evacuation notice has been issued to residents of the following areas:
- All East Fork
- Below Zinc Spur South to North end of Treasure Lane on the West side of Highway 75
Sheriff Gene Ramsey said 600-700 people are in pre-evacuation and that there was at least one structure destroyed by flames near the Deer Creek area Wednesday night. He says deputies were going door-to-door warning of the fire and also notifying residents via phone and text messages.
Resident who refuse to evacuate are asked to sign form. It says their life is in immediate danger and there is no rescue plan for them. It also asks them for a name and contact information for next of kin, should something happen to them.
Ramsey says there are currently no threats to the communities of Sun Valley or Hailey.
Those evacuated due to the fire can seek shelter at the Community Campus Hailey by calling 208-280-2315.
Mark Deffe and his family are in pre-evacuation status for their home in Deer Creek.
"Well it's kind of shocking to have this happen to your community," he said. "When your house is threatened, you feel really vulnerable. We're glad right now that we're not out of danger, but we're a little bit more out of danger."
For Deffe and many other folks in the Wood River Valley, this fire brings back memories from 2007 and the Castlerock Fire.
"This is actually a little more threatening here because our home is involved and it wasn't then," said Deffe. "You realize the resources that are available during Castlerock, and that are not available now."
Jake Brollier, with the Incident Management Team, said the Beaver Creek fire has moved to the nation's number one priority.
"We have moved up on the ladder of priorities, so we are getting resources more readily available for us," said Brollier.
There are now more than 600 firefighters on the Beaver Creek Fire, and incident management is adjusting crews' schedules to be in concert with the fire's behavior. There are also four helicopters, 16 hand cres, 41 engines, four dozers, and a DC-10, which is also called a "Very Large Air Tanker," made a drop on the fire Thursday afternoon.
"We're going to keep our days crews out longer tonight," said Brollier. "The fire seems to be burning later into the night."
Heavy smoke and haze plagued the Wood River Valley again Thursday. That kept them from using air attack on the fire until the afternoon.
The fire has burned around 44,000 acres and is around 9 percent contained as of Thursday night.
Here's the message posted for residents on the Blaine County website:
Update as of August 15th at 7:55pm - MANDATORY EVACUATION IN EFFECT
**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 IN EFFECT
**All East Fork
**Below Zinc Spur South to North end of Treasure Lane on the West side of Hwy 75
Please be aware that officers are unable to go door to door for these pre-evac notifications as our resources are tied up with mandatory evacuations in other areas at this time. Please prepare for immediate evacuation at this time.
View Beaver Creek Fire Evacuations in a larger map