A wildfire nipping at the edges of two Idaho mountain resort towns has destroyed about a dozen homes, prompting authorities to intensify calls to hundreds of residents to heed mandatory orders to evacuate, fire officials said on Tuesday.
It was unclear how many of the 1,000 summer residents of the towns of Pine and Featherville had actually left their homes ahead of the lightning-sparked blaze, which has already charred 99,000 acres and is now the nation's top firefighting priority.
It is the second time in two years that the towns, about 70 miles east of Boise, have been ordered emptied over fires burning in the Boise National Forest. Officials said some residents may be staying because of a false sense of security fostered by the successful defense of the towns last year.
"This is a more serious situation. We might be hopeful about protecting Pine and Featherville again, but it's a different beast," fire spokesman David Eaker said of the fire, citing drier conditions and more extreme fire behavior.