Massive Idaho Wildfire Prompts Thousands To Evacuate

Category: Technology / Aug 19, 2013 12:36PM EDT

Firefighters mounted an all-out attack on an Idaho wildfire that has forced the evacuation of some 2,250 homes and threatened the world-class ski resort of Sun Valley.

The fire raging across parched sagebrush, grasslands and pine forests near high-end developments in the Sun Valley area has consumed 101,000 acres (41,000 hectares) and destroyed one home and seven other buildings since lightning sparked the blaze on August 7.

More than 1,000 firefighters were engaged in what fire officials called "a heavy air show" and ground assault in a drive to gain the upper hand over a blaze stoked by dry, hot weather and strong, gusting winds.

The Beaver Creek fire is one of dozens of blazes raging in western states amid a U.S. fire season that brought substantial property losses and the deaths of dozens of firefighters.

Airplane tankers dumping payloads of fire retardant and helicopters dropping water bolstered the fight on Sunday to protect residences, commercial properties and outbuildings threatened by the fire.

Authorities have put the value of land and property threatened in the resort region, known as the Wood River Valley, at $8 billion. The area contains the homes of such celebrities as film director Steven Spielberg, actor Tom Hanks and singer and actress Barbra Streisand.

Video Credit: Reuters