144-square-mile fire moving closer to homes

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Associated Press

HAILEY, Idaho - Fire crews are bracing for another difficult day battling a wildfire moving closer to homes in the central Idaho resort towns of Hailey and Ketchum.

 

The Beaver Creek Fire grew overnight to more than 144 square miles and flames crept closer to homes and subdivisions in the mountains west of the towns and the Sun Valley Resort.

 

So far, authorities have issued mandatory evacuations for 1,600 residences in this smoke-shrouded valley. More homeowners could be asked to leave Saturday.

 

More than 700 firefighters are focused mostly on protecting homes and property. But hundreds more firefighters are en route as wildfires elsewhere in Idaho and western states are brought under control.

 

The Beaver Creek Fire has destroyed one home and handful of structures.

 

The fire is raging in an affluent resort region that's a second home to celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis.

 

Some private insurers have sent in their own crews to provide structural protection for homes with values that can stretch into the millions of dollars.

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