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Winds fan blaze in Idaho forest

By Nick Valencia, CNN
  • The blaze burns 361 acres so far
  • Authorities urge residents to be ready to evacuate

(CNN) -- Authorities urged residents to be on alert as a brush fire fanned by strong winds continued to burn early Thursday northwest of Cascade, Idaho.

The blaze, which started Saturday, has burned 361 acres on a national forest, said Megan Myers of the Valley County Sheriff's Office.

"We haven't had a fire around here in a while," Myers said. "Right now, we have level 1 evacuation, which is basically just a warning to the residents in that area that there are projected threats and a hazard to that area. But we're not telling anyone they have to leave yet."

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has approved a disaster emergency for the fire, according to a statement released by Valley County.

t was unclear how many homes were affected by evacuation preparations by early Thursday.

Cascade is about 80 miles north of Boise.