Central Idaho firefighters brace for tough day

BOISE, Idaho — Firefighters in central Idaho braced for a tough day Saturday protecting the mountain resort communities of Ketchum and Sun Valley while 12 miles to the south police knocked on doors starting at 3:30 a.m. to evacuate the west side of Hailey.

The Beaver Creek Fire grew 44 square miles to 144 square miles Friday and fire managers predicted similar conditions Saturday as more firefighters poured into the area to bolster 700 already there while residents and vacationers jammed U.S. Highway 75 getting out.

Blaine County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Marsha Head says about 1,600 homes on the west side of the highway are under mandatory evacuation orders. Ketchum and Sun Valley residents are under pre-evacuation orders.

Fire spokeswoman Traci Weaver says a fire camp crew member in his 50s suffered a heart attack earlier this week while setting up camp, but he’s recovering.

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