SEATTLE — Firefighters in Idaho continued to combat a 100,000-acre blaze Monday near the state's popular mountain resort areas as officials warned that the fire was likely to continue to grow.
More than 1,100 firefighters are on the ground and in the air fighting the Beaver Creek fire, which has reached just over 104,000 acres with 8% containment, fire officials said. The lightning-caused fire started Aug. 7 near Hailey, in the central part of the state.
Fire crews are watching for spot fires near the Highway 75 corridor around Hailey and nearby Ketchum, and will be dropping retardant on the northern portion of the fire and in southern parts of Ketchum, areas that officials said have become a focal point in battling the fire.
In recent days, crews have also been on the ground in areas with homes, clearing possible fuel for the fire and taking other precautions to help protect residences in Ketchum, Hailey and the area around the resort community of Sun Valley.
Officials said that total heat released by the fire is nearing historic records for the area and that strong wind gusts continued to pose a threat, but forecasters noted that temperatures fell slightly Monday to the low 90s.
The Beaver Creek blaze is one of several large fires in the state.
The massive Pony Complex blaze — which has consumed nearly 150,000 acres southeast of Boise — was 95% contained. Residents evacuated from the 130,000-acre Elk Complex fire, just to the east, were allowed to return to their homes after nearly a week away.
All three of the fires were caused by lightning and started on Aug. 7 or 8. Crews are fighting six other active wildfires in the state, three of which are more than 20,000 acres.
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