Some residents told flee wildfire near Riggins

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Some residents along U.S. Highway 95 in west-central Idaho, including those living in the town of Riggins, were told to evacuate Wednesday because of a wildfire that's on the move.

Officials did not say how many people were evacuated.

The U.S. Forest Service released a statement saying displaced residents can go to an evacuation center set up at the Riggins Community Center.

Fire managers say the size of the fire grew to 29 square miles — a 5-square-mile increase from Tuesday — with extreme fire behavior that included sustained runs through tree crowns and long-range spotting.

"Part of the problem we've been having is long-lasting inversions that haven't been clearing up," fire spokesman Sheldon Keafer said. "That's hampered our air operation."

Winds up to 20 mph and hot temperatures are expected to make conditions difficult later in the day for the 500 firefighters assigned to the blaze.

Keafer said several U.S. Forest Service buildings such as lookouts and guard stations are being protected as are homes. U.S. Highway 95 remains open.

A group of fires in northern Idaho near Kamiah remained at 74 square miles as crews work to strengthen lines against the blazes that have destroyed 42 homes. Containment rose to 60 percent on the blazes burning mainly in timber and being fought by about 630 firefighters.

In central Idaho, a 7-square-mile fire burning 12 miles southeast of McCall has drawn about 350 firefighters.

That fire, burning in timber, is 30 percent contained as managers work to put in a fire line on the west and south edges.

Sixteen large fires are burning in Idaho, the National Interagency Fire Center says.

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