Multiple wildfires have broken out this month close to major ski towns, with the 32,000 acre Beaver Creek fire near Ketchum & Sun Valley now the #3 priority for US firefighters. Officials monitoring that fire closed off a large swath of forest to the public in case the fire burns towards the Wood River Vallley, with the closure perimeter extending all the way to the summit of Sun Valley's Bald Mountain. Meanwhile, a lightning-sparked fire now covering 1,200 acres destroyed 13 homes in a subdivision roughly ten miles from Park City, and one resident who stayed home to defend his property with a garden hose described the experience as "like being in Vietnam," with houses going up in flames and propane tanks exploding near his home.
And in Glenwood Springs, at the intersection of Highway 82 leading to Aspen and I-70, a smaller Red Canyon fire grew to 350 acres, resulting in an evacuation order for people to the north and east of the fire.
About 35 "large active wildfires" are currently burning across the West, consuming some 3 million acres, which while large, pales in comparison to the 5.9 million acres burned by this point last year at the 6.3 million by mid-August in 2011.
· Beaver Creek fire still moving North [Idaho Mtn. Express]
· 13 homes destroyed in wildfire near Park City [Standard-Examiner]
· Red Canyon fire spawns evacuation orders for nearby residents [Aspen Times]