Dozens of Wildfires Continue to Burn Across West

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In the West, nearly three dozen wildfires are burning across nine states. Hundreds of families have been evacuated and thousands of firefighters are on the front lines.

Firefighting resources are stretched thin and the weather could create more problems.

"Orange everywhere," California resident Donna Carlquist described the scene.

She and her husband are waiting to go back home -- one of 400 families evacuated when the Swedes fire in Northern California ignited.

Like other fires in the West, it plowed through rough terrain and climbed steep hills. The wildfires have burned thousands of acres and destroyed buildings.

"It's been hot, dry, windy; keeping us busy," one firefighter said. "We haven't been getting a lot of sleep, but we're getting it done."

More than 900 firefighters are battling the Swedes fire alone.

"All night long the firefighters have been on the front lines, building containment around this fire," Daniel Berlant of Cal Fire explained. "We're making real good progress on this fire."

Another blaze firefighters are making progress on is the wildfire in Idaho, which threatens homes in the resort towns of Ketchum and Sun Valley.

"All at once everyone tried to get out of here, and it still looks like a ghost town around here," one resident said.

Thanks to attacks from the air and ground, however, authorities in Idaho are now allowing residents living near this 160-square-mile wildfire return to their homes.

A mandatory evacuation order has been lifted for Ketchum, Sun Valley, and Hailey.

The thousands of firefighters battling the flames across the West are also looking to the skies, preparing for possible severe weather with strong winds and lightning strikes that could make things worse in a moment, by feasting on dry conditions.

"We really want to watch that weather closely to insure that we don't have any embers thrown over that line and this fire to take another run-off," Berlant said.

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Mark Martin

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Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/MarkMartinCBN.