Western Wildfire Sparks 1,600 Evacuations

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Evacuating residents say the smoke is unbearable and Idaho officials say high winds are forecast again today in the area of a wind-driven wildfire near Sun valley that's burning its way through sage and pine trees.

Sheriff's deputies have expanded evacuation orders to 1,600 homes for the 100-square-mile Beaver Creek Fire included residences in drainages and foothills west of the towns of Hailey and extending to north of Ketchum in central Idaho.

More than 600 state and federal firefighters were working to get the blaze under control and protect property in the affluent resort region that's a second home to celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis. Another 1,000 firefighters will join the battle.

Managers at the Sun Valley Ski Resort turned on water cannons that are normally used for wintertime snowmaking, in case sparks from the fire threaten mountaintop lodges.

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