TODAY

TODAY   |  August 20, 2013

Wildfires turn Idaho tourism spots to ghost towns

Only one home has been lost after thousands of firefighters worked to contain flames threatening Idaho’s Sun Valley. But officials worry wind could cause the fire to spread and damage even more small businesses that have had to shut down. NBC’s Miguel Almagauer reports.

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>>> now where authorities are allowing evacuees to return home.

>>> this is one of the most iconic most historic towns in this region. today because of the work of firefighters it and thousands of homes in this area are safe for now.

>> not far from the heart of idaho's massive inferno, today firefighters are gaining ground, containment lines protect communities in the path of the fire. only one home lost, thousands saved. the x factor here, wind. worried flying embers will spread fire, a fleet of 30 aircraft pounded the fast moving blaze.

>> the fire fight in the air is just as dangerous as it is on the ground. pilots face thick smoke and winds but their role in the fire fight is critical.

>> the arial assault protected towns like sun valley but the community is now a ghost town . he opened his restaurant doors last year but the fire has crippled his business.

>> right about now, this time of year, streets would be packed. it went literally from 100 miles per hour to 0.

>> sparked by lightning and nearly two weeks old, the 105,000 acre beaver fire burns on a day firefighters remember well. august 20th , 1992 . the foothills fire in boise charred over 250,000 acres in the yellow stone park fire, 67 structures for burned causing over $3 million in damage. near sun valley this morning, the fire fight is far from over.

>> it's been hot. it's been dry. it's a perfect fire storm .

>> though this morning thousands of homes remain evacuated firefighters are making progress. the blaze is roughly 10% contained. it's still actively and aggressively burning but it's not making the big runs, natalie.

>>> miguel almaguer, thank you so