Idaho's Elk Fire burns 53 structures, 173 square miles scorched

Idaho's Elk Fire burns 53 structures, 173 square miles scorched
Photo courtesy of InciWeb

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Law enforcement officials have released a grim tally after one of the nation's biggest wildfires rolled into a small Idaho resort community: At least 53 structures in Fall Creek on the western shore of the Anderson Ranch Reservoir were burned.

The Elmore County Sheriff's Office late Tuesday prepared home and cabin owners for the worst after spending three days cutting through downed trees, power poles and other debris.

The Elk Complex Fire burned through Fall Creek Saturday, but it has taken days for law enforcement to assess the situation, given unstable conditions left in the wake of the flames.

The 173-square-mile lightning-ignited fire continues to threaten nearby Pine and Featherville, where crews are doing burnout operations to push the flames further north into an area that burned last year.