More people have had to evacuate their homes near the two of Ketchum, Idaho, a well-known central Idaho ski resort. The evacuations came as a wildfire boosted by strong winds started a push towards the north.
By late Saturday, over 2,300 homes had been evacuated in the area. Firefighters said that even though they had been fighting adverse conditions against the out of control fire, they had been able to make some progress on the southern most end of the fire.
To the south, crews were conducting mop-up along the blackened foothills to the west of Hailey, Idaho.
The blazed was ignited on August 7 by lightning. Fire officials have estimated the fire had grown by Friday night to 144 square miles, fed by the dry underbrush and timber.
However, firefighters expected to get a better size assessment once a plane took photos overhead late Saturday night with infrared cameras. Fire officials said the fire was just 6% contained.
Over 700 firefighters are fighting the fire in the area where celebrities such as Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger own homes.
On Saturday, an additional five hotshot crews were deployed to the area with even more expected on Sunday in order to focus on protecting the homes in a county that is very sparsely populated.
Ketchum only has a population of about 2,700 and nearby Sun Valley has just 1,400. Authorities told residents there they were under a pre-evacuation order and had to be ready to leave immediately if necessary.
The tiny dining and retail districts of Ketchum, normally abuzz with tourists this time of year, resembled an abandoned town. A number of restaurants, outdoor cafes, bars and retail shops on the main street of town were closed on Saturday.
Even the oldest bar in town, The Casino, was closed. The bar first opened in 1936 and even residents were shocked the fire threat had closed the bar.