More than 1,200 people and 19 aircraft have been battling a wildfire in Beaver Creek Fire, Idaho, which began nearly two weeks ago with a lightning strike. Only a small percentage of the fire at this point is contained, but some of those living in the 2,300 homes that were evacuated have already begun to return.
A Blaze reader sent us his footage of the raging fire from the Heatherlands subdivision in Hailey. The video shows a thick, glowing plume of smoke rising beyond a hill and transitions to show how it quickly begins to start "racing down the hill."
The color of the sky. (Image via YouTube video screenshot)
A spinning vortex of smoke seems to form at one point. (Image via YouTube video screenshot)
At 2:43, a helicopter comes through spreading a red substance to try and help contain the flames.
A helicopter is seen trying to contain some of the wildfire. (Image via YouTube video screenshot)
Around 3:57 in the video, the man going by garytrooper1 on YouTube zeros in on what one of the commenters called a "fire vortex" that "[walks] up the slope along the fireline."
"Fire vortex" (Image via YouTube video screenshot)
It's at this point when the videographer says "I'm thinking it's time to get out of here." Toward the tail end of the footage, a line of cars can be seen evacuating the area.
Notice how the fire has spread further down the hill. (Image via YouTube video screenshot)
Watch the footage and hear what the fire sounds like in the distance:
Fire managers expressed optimism Sunday in their battle against the wildfire that has scorched nearly 160 square miles, saying the blaze had grown only about 12 square miles because of cloud cover and the arrival of additional crews and equipment. Many firefighters worked Sunday to create protective firebreaks, or gaps in vegetation aimed at stopping the fire's progress.
Although some evacuated residents in Ketchum and Sun Valley were allowed to return home Monday, Blaine County spokeswoman Bronwyn Nickel said about 2,000 homes remain under mandatory evacuation orders. The blaze was 8 percent contained as of Monday.
At the same time, another wildfire looming over the tiny town of Atlanta about 50 miles to the west has led to evacuation orders.
Atlanta residents have been told to leave by noon Monday because of the 3-square-mile Little Queens Fire burning about 6 miles to the northwest through grass and timber.
Fire managers say a shortage of resources due to other large wildfires in the region is hampering firefighting efforts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.