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August 19, 2013
Wildfires plague Idaho, Utah

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho authorities on Monday were slowly allowing evacuees to return to homes that just days ago were deemed at risk from a big and erratic wildfire burning near the affluent resort towns of Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley.

The Blaine County sheriff ended the mandatory evacuation order for up to 250 homes. Most of those residences are in subdivisions on the east side of the main highway connecting these communities and are farthest from the 160-square-mile Beaver Creek Fire.

About 1,850 homes were still affected by the evacuation as fire crews focused on protecting homes and structures that line foothills and gulches up and down the valley.

Meanwhile, persistent hot and dry weather kept conditions ripe for wildfires across the West.

In California, a wildfire forced hundreds of Butte County residents from homes some 60 miles north of Sacramento, while another blaze kept residents of a southern Sierra Nevada town on edge.

(28 images)




A helicopter makes a drop on a dozer line around a home to protect it from the Beaver Creek Fire on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013 in outside of Ketchum, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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A helicopter makes a drop on a dozer line around a home to protect it from the Beaver Creek Fire on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013 outside of Ketchum, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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A helicopter makes a drop while battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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Firefighters continue to battle the Beaver Creek Fire in the Wood River Valley where it creeps down the western canyon near Hailey Saturday Aug. 17, 2013. Idaho Statesman / Darin Oswald
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Firefighters continue to battle the Beaver Creek Fire in the Wood River Valley of Blaine County Saturday Aug. 17, 2013. Idaho Statesman / Darin Oswald
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Darin D. Sales of Hailey takes photos of the Beaver Creek Fire looming above the Wood River Valley town Saturday Aug. 17, 2013. Idaho Statesman / Darin Oswald
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A helicopter descends in the Golden Eagle Subdivsion to refill with water from a pond while battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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A helicopter descends in the Golden Eagle Subdivsion to refill with water from a pond while battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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A helicopter prepares to make a drop while a VLAT flies in to battle the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 west of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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Firefighters continue to battle the Beaver Creek Fire in the Wood River Valley as it drops down the canyon hillside west of Hailey Saturday Aug. 17, 2013. Idaho Statesman / Darin Oswald
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Firefighters continue to battle the Beaver Creek Fire in the Wood River Valley as it drops down the canyon hillside west of Hailey Saturday Aug. 17, 2013. Idaho Statesman / Darin Oswald
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A firefighter walks across a blackened field near homes on Croy Road and the Rotorun ski hill west of Hailey Saturday Aug. 17, 2013. The Beaver Creek fire moved through the area in the early hours Saturday morning. Idaho Statesman / Darin Oswald
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A team of hotshots walk along a fire line near homes on Croy Road and the Rotorun ski hill west of Hailey Saturday Aug. 17, 2013. Idaho Statesman / Darin Oswald
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A firefighter walks across a blackened field near homes on Croy Road and the Rotorun ski hill west of Hailey Saturday Aug. 17, 2013. Idaho Statesman / Darin Oswald
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Flames roll down a ridge from the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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Hailey residents Dusty and Kathy Pruett watch as the Beaver Creek Fire burns through one of their favorite hiking trails on the west canyon wall Saturday Aug. 17, 2013. Idaho Statesman / Darin Oswald
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Kristie Lambert takes photos of the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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Spectators stops and watch the Beaver Creek Fire in the Wood River Valley as it creeps down the canyon wall west of Hailey Saturday Aug. 17, 2013. Idaho Statesman / Darin Oswald
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Bryandt Greczyn, left, Luke Garcia and Shaun Trabado, all members of the Midewin Hotshots of Illinois, take a break while battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 west of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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Members of the Prescott Hotshots mop up part of the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 west of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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Pila Malolo, with the Bonneville Hotshots, talks with crew members battling the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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Jeff Perry, of the Eagle Fire Department, holds a leaf with fire retardant on it, while fighting the Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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John Koth, photographs helicopters from the roof of a neighbors home while they battle the 64,000 acre Beaver Creek Fire on Friday, Aug., 16, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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Kevin Bullock, of Bellevue, Idaho, watches smoke from the 64,000 acre Beaver Creek Fire on Friday, Aug., 16, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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Helicopters battle the 64,000 acre Beaver Creek Fire on Friday, Aug., 16, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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Helicopters battle the 64,000 acre Beaver Creek Fire on Friday, Aug., 16, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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A fire whirl highlights the eratic wind conditions from the 64,000 acre Beaver Creek Fire on Friday, Aug., 16, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
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A view from the main fire camp of the Beaver Creek Fire burning on Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith

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