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LIVE BLOG: Beaver Creek Fire Now 30% Contained

UPDATED 3:24 PM WEDNESDAY: According to the Blaine County Sheriff's Office, firefighters have made significant progress fighting the Beaver Creek fire, and have increased their containment of it from 9% at the start of the week to 30%. There appears to be a rising sense of optimism in the crew camps, as well as a strategy change more akin to offense than the defense fire crews have been playing since the August 7th start of the fire. Word is that things are slowly returning to normal in and around Sun Valley, and that Ketchum's biggest annual event, its Wagon Days festival, will start on the 28th as planned. Miraculously, only one house has been burnt in the fire so far. As of 2:00 pm this morning, two more groups of homes have been lifted from mandatory evacuation and pre-evacuation status.

Wednesday 3:15 pm update:

From the Blaine County Sheriff's Office, as of 2:00 pm today:
· Hospital Bridge north to Saddle Rd. west of bike path including West Ketchum, Lane Ranch, and Warms Springs Road to Upper Board Ranch where pavement ends has been lifted from Pre-Evacuation status.
·West of the Upper Board Ranch pavement remains on pre-evacuation status.
· Hospital bridge south to East Fork Road on the EAST side of Highway 75 including Cold Springs, Gimlet and the Meadows will be allowed to return from Mandatory Evac to Pre-Evacuation status.

Also as of 2:00 pm, all homes within Ketchum city limits have been lifted from pre-evacuation status.

As of 12:30 pm today, the following areas are still under mandatory evacuation status**:
· Galena Summit south to Glassford Height on both sides of Hwy 75 including Baker Creek, Easley, SNRA, Fox Creek, Eagle Creek, Chocolate Gulch, and North Fork Trailer Park.
· Residences from Hospital bridge south to Timber Gulch on the WEST side of Highway 75, excluding the Hospital.
· Greenhorn Gulch, Golden Eagle, and Timber Gulch south down to the Greenhorn Bridge.
· Croy Creek Canyon from Big Wood Bridge west.

As of 12:30 pm today, the following areas remain under pre-evacuation status**:
· From Hospital bridge south to East Fork Road on the EAST side of Hwy 75 including Cold Springs, Gimlet and the Meadows
· From Zinc Spur north the the south side of Greenhorn Bridge west of Hwy 75 including Star Weather and Hidden Hollow.
· McKercher Blvd. north up to and including Zinc Spur and all of Deer Creek. Note-Residents only will be allowed west of the Deer Creek bridge.
· Upper Board Ranch west of pavement
· East Fork Canyon including Triumph
· All Ohio Gulch, and the Heatherlands east of Hwy 75
· Indian Creek and the Valley Club
· Saddle Road north to below Glassford Heights on both sides of Hwy 75 including Huelen Meadows, Lake Creek and Big Wood
· Residents of Hailey west of River Street including Queen of the Hills Drive, Sherwood Forest and Della View Subdivision (Does not include Albertson's)

**Please compare with Blaine County Sheriff's Office update from 2:00 pm, as we're not familiar enough with the area to discern where all these different neighborhoods are.

So as of post publication, 575 homes remain under mandatory evacuation orders and 6775 remain under pre-evacuation orders. The fire remains 30% contained until we hear more news.

Wednesday 12:00 pm update:

[This morning's briefing on the Beaver Creek fire via Scott Hartman]

Mandatory evacuation status is still in place for 1,800 homes in the following areas:
· Galena Summit south to Glassford Height on both sides of Hwy 75 including Baker Creek, Easley, SNRA, Fox Creek, Eagle Creek, Chocolate Gulch, and North Fork Trailer Park.
· Hospital bridge south down to the north side of East Fork on both sides of Highway including Broadway Run and the Meadows.
· Greenhorn Gulch, Golden Eagle, and Timber Gulch south down to the Greenhorn Bridge.
· Croy Creek Canyon from Big Wood Bridge west.

Significant power outages are still a concern:

And as we reported yesterday, the fire department is still sending out requests for bandanas, so be sure to stop by the Blaine County Sheriff's station at 1650 Aviation Drive in Hailey if you have any.

But people are certainly showing their support and thanks for the fire crews in other ways:

The above map gives readers a good idea of how this fire has progressed through space since starting on the 7th. Fire crews have begun firming up a fire line that will connect burned areas and prevent the fire from reaching Highway 75, and they've also been constructing a second one between Timber Gulch at Bald Mountain, the summit peak of Sun Valley ski resort. Scattered thunderstorms and showers are expected to bring more moisture today, which should dampen flames further. With crews gaining an edge on the fire, many have been sent home, having worked their maximum allowed 14 consecutive days, while others are being sent to fires elsewhere. According to the Incident Command Center, US firefighters are at Priority Level 5 for the first time in five years, and resources are stretched.

· Beaver Creek fire archives [Curbed Ski]