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1600 homes evacuated in Idaho

Boise, Idaho (AP) - Firefighters in central Idaho are bracing for another tough day protecting the mountain resort communities of Ketchum and Sun Valley from a 144-square-mile wildfire.

Twelve miles to the south, police knocked on doors overnight to evacuate the west side of Hailey. About 1,600 homes are under mandatory evacuation orders.

The Beaver Creek Fire grew by 44 square miles yesterday, whipped by winds gusting to 30 mph. Fire managers expect similar conditions today.

More firefighters headed into the area to bolster 700 already there, while residents and vacationers jammed U.S. Highway 75 getting out.

The Sun Valley Ski Resort turned on water cannons, usually used for making snow, to protect lodges and chairlifts.

The fire is raging in an affluent resort region that's a second home to celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis.

Some private insurers have sent in their own crews to provide structural protection for homes with values that can stretch into the millions of dollars.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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