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TODAY   |  August 20, 2012

Residents evacuate as Idaho wildfire rages

Idaho’s Trinity Bridge fire took a turn in its course, spreading within 10 miles of Featherville and Idaho City and putting residents on high alert. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports from Idaho.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> one of the fiercest fire seasons in history is raging out west. mike taibbi in pine, idaho where the blazes there have forced thousands to evacuate. mike, good morning.

>> good morning, natalie. we're overlooking the fire camp where 1,000 firefighters waiting for the signal to confront the most eminent threat from idaho 's huge fire, the town of featherville, north of here and under an evacuation order. this huge fire has other towns now on high alert. as happens, the shape and movements of idaho 's trinity rich fire have changed. when occupants of homes and businesses in featherville were given evacuation orders some feared the worst and vowed to stay until the very last minute.

>> until i see fire come over the hill, i'm going to stay.

>> this is a big investment for us. this is our retirement.

>> the fire that spread to the west northwest, now within 10 miles of idaho city . it's the weather that sets the pace. often a two-sided sword predicted thunderstorms that needed moisture but that also means lightning.

>> lightning can hit the ground sparking fires.

>> there are similar stories across the western wildfire zone. 35 dangerous fires now burning in 10 person states in a brutal season that's already seeing 6.7 million acres consumed by flames. there are new fires that are causing havoc. the ponderosa fire in northern california has destroyed seven homes and threatened 3,000 more.

>> i don't have rental insurance, fire insurance . that's not good.

>> lightning strikes overnight sparked a new fire just east of featherville but that was quickly extinguished. the main fire, idaho 's biggest ever is still described in the latest update as smoldering and creeping, its growth potential extreme.

>> mike taibbi in idaho . thanks,