HAILEY, Idaho -- People of the Wood River Valley can breathe a sigh of relief today, even if they can't get a breath of fresh air.
That's because the Blaine County Sheriff's Office announced that all pre-evacuation zones for the 111,000-acre Beaver Creek Fire have been lifted.
The announcement comes nearly a week after the wildfire threatened homes near the Croy Creek, Greenhorn Gulch, and Deer Creek areas west of Ketchum and Hailey, Idaho.
It also comes a day after all evacuation orders were lifted for residents in the area, and underscores the success of the fire fight. That's because firefighters have increased the containment level of the fire to 67 percent.
Blaine County information officer Bronwyn Nickel told KTVB the new orders should help residents return to normalcy.
Everybody is back home and is back off any alert notice, Nickel said.
However, while Nickel says the new orders are positive, residents are asked to maintain situational awareness and to depart again immediately should conditions change or they are in danger.
We still have 1,500 firefighters here so it's not like the whole thing is over and done, Nickel said.
Reports indicate active fires are still burning on the north flank of the fire, near the Baker Creek, Croy Creek, Carbonite, and Timber Gulch areas.
Fire information officer Jennifer Myslivy says Thursday's thunderstorms helped control the flames, but the danger is still present.
The potential is there until there's a black line around it, Myslivy said.
Fire managers plan to continue extending fire lines around the northern flank, and hope to be done with the operation over the weekend. In the meantime, they'll be downgrading to a Type II Incident Command Team and sending many firefighters home.
The Beaver Creek Fire sparked via lightning on August 7. More than 1,800 fire personnel have worked to control it since. In the meantime, over 1,000 residents of the Wood River Valley had evacuated due to the fire. Only one home has burned.
Several closure areas are still in effect throughout the area, including:
- Galena Summit south to the SNRA Headquarters on both sides of State Highway 75
- Croy Creek Canyon west of Red Elephant Gulch Road