Hailey, Ketchum, Sun Valley area to burn in wildfire? update 6

Beaver Creek Fire descends onto Idaho resorts towns from the west-

Talking with  Hailey resident Jon Marvel early last week about the huge Elk Creek and Pony wildfires blazing northeast of Boise, Idaho, he said “Watch the Beaver Creek Fire, especially as the weekend arrives.” The weekend came with the predicted winds and a stampeding wildlife of 93,000 acres!

Weather forecast for 8/20 and later- Forecast high is 86 degrees, the same as yesterday. No storms are predicted. Winds are predicted to be slightly calmer at 5-10 mph. The low on Tuesday night-Wednesday morning is predicted to be 39 degrees. It is getting cold, good news for fighting the fire. However, thunderstorms (40%) of precipitation are predicted on Wednesday.

Update at the end of 8/19/13. The fire is now approximately 105-thousand acres in perimeter size and 10 percent contained. The fire burned hard in the top of Deer Creek on 8/19, but that is in the backcountry.

The resort towns of Hailey and Ketchum  had a near miss back in 2007 in the big Castle Rock Fire. The scar of that five-year-old burn is presently keeping the Beaver Creek fire  at bay near part of Ketchum/Sun Valley which lies about ten miles north of Hailey. The biggest threat his been to the developments just a few miles north of Hailey. The Wood River Valley has some very high end real estate.  Many of these are a few miles north of Hailey. There are also many residents with modest homes throughout the Valley, especially as you go southward.

  • Detailed information on the fire burning now burning right on the edge of Hailey and especially, just north between Hailey and Ketchum is now given in detail at this page from the Blaine County Sheriffs Department.

Here is an important note to general and backcountry bound tourists near the area. “All public lands from Galena Summit south of the SNRA Headquarters are closed on both sides of Hwy 75. Additionally public lands north of Hwy 20 to Galena Summit are closed west of Hwy 75.”

Beaver Creek Fire in Deer Creek near Clarendon Hot Springs.
Beaver Creek Fire in Deer Creek near Clarendon Hot Springs.






  1. Salle Avatar

    The smoke plume has traveled quite far and is pretty dense over the Madison Valley in Montana, seems to come in waves. It’s less dense this evening than it was most of the day but a thin layer of ash covers everything. Whether the ash is from the Eureka fire or the Beaver fire in Ketchum/Hailey area is not known but most likely the majority of the smoke plume is from the Idaho fire. It has been one of the lead stories on NPR today morning and evening.

    I hope it can be contained soon but it’s not looking good on that concern at the moment.

    Wunderground has a good mapping page for fires and includes smoke plume coverage, looking at that it’s easy to see where our local smoke haze is coming from.

  2. Franko Avatar

    My heart goes out to everyone in Ketchum, Sun Valley and Hailey and I pray that lives are not lost in this time of severe fires. I spent many holidays in this area in the 90′ and met so many wonderful people that love and respect this beautiful area of America. God bless all the fire fighters and residents and keep all safe.

  3. Robert R Avatar
    Robert R

    Salle our job site was only four miles from the eureka fire. On Monday it was only at 200 acres and they said it was contained until high winds moved in and its now at or above 2400 acres and in heave dead timber. I would say the majority of smoke is from the eureka fire in the Madison valley.


    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      I notice Inciweb says it will be a “long term event.” I guess then a strong probability the top of the Gravelies with all that dead, and most explosive, mixed green, dying and dead timber will burn with runs down into the side canyons.

  4. Guepardo Lento Avatar
    Guepardo Lento

    Curious if anyone knows anything about livestock management during these large fires? If livestock are moved out of grazing allotments where are they pushed? Anywhere with water? I noticed on the Inciweb Elk Complex current situation description they indicated cattle were being moved “into the prairie.” Just curious if anyone knows how these fires open up new “emergency” grazing allotments and new long-term allotments-if any…

  5. David Soom Avatar
    David Soom

    Although Hailey is close to Ketchum and Sun Valley we should be safe here. The airport will be protected because of the many expensive corporate aircraft there.
    Dave Soom


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan