DISASTERS

Fire crews make progress on wildfire burning near N. Idaho town of Bayview

A fire spokesman says firefighters are making progress in their battle against a wildfire that has destroyed at least six homes and forced evacuations near the north Idaho lake community of Bayview.

Nearly 300 people turned out Tuesday night to hear a fire status update. Crews spent the day building and strengthening fire lines while aircraft dropped water and retardant.

Spokesman Geremy Olson says the fire's area has been revised downward from 2,000 acres to just under 1,400 acres, or about 2 square miles.

Olson says fire officials still consider more than 280 structures to be threatened. While the portion of the fire bordered by the shore of Lake Pend Oreille (PAHN-duh-ray) is considered contained, the rest of it is not.

The Kootenai County sheriff's office says it will begin Wednesday to offer escorted visits for evacuated residents to survey their homes and collect essential items.

The fire started Sunday. Affected residents were asked Monday to voluntarily leave their homes.