USA

Utah wildfire grows to largest active fire in US

Utah wildfire grows to largest active fire in US

It's estimated firefighting costs now top $7 million for a fire started June 17 near the Brian Head Resort by someone using a torch tool to burn weeds.

Burnout areas near Panguitch Lake, Utah during a wildfire tour by Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, in southern Utah.

Steve Bloch, legal director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, said Noel's assertion is an over-simplification of wildfires that are the result of fire suppression, climate change, drought and unpredictable winds.

The Brian Head Fire grew to more than 54,000 acres Tuesday night, but fire officials say anticipated strong winds weren't as bad as predicted and crews were able to increase the containment area to 10 percent. Mike Noel said Tuesday he wants to use the fire near the ski town of Bri.

The blaze, dubbed the Placerita Fire, swelled to roughly 800 acres but firefighters had managed to contains about half the blaze by 6 p.m.(0100 GMT), the Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted.

Winds gusted up to 30 miles per hour Monday and spread the fire on the northern end, dropping the containment of the fire to 9 percent.

Both California fires came amid soaring temperatures and dry air that are expected to start receding early on Tuesday.

Fire crews return from fighting a wildfire near the ski town of Brian Head Tuesday, June 27, 2017, in Panguitch, Utah.

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"People are not being careful enough", he said, noting that several other human-caused fires had broken out over the weekend.

A fierce wildfire that has destroyed more than a dozen homes and forced the evacuation of 1,500 residents raged largely unchecked in southwestern Utah for an 11th day, as an army of firefighters struggled to corral the flames. Are there fires burning anywhere else? Yes.

Mayer has about 1,400 residents, and a shelter was set up at Bradshaw Mountain High School in Prescott Valley.

In Arizona, the Department of Forestry and Fire Management said in a statement that the Goodwin Fire, which started about 14 miles south of Prescott on Saturday, had burned almost 4,400 acres of land in the Bradshaw Ranger District of the Prescott National Forest.

In related news, a wildfire in California's central coast has surged out of control.

CAL FIRE said on June 22 that firefighters have responded to 1,878 wildfires, burning over 19,000 acres, since January 1, representing a threefold increase compared with the same time a year ago.

Crews in California, meanwhile, allowed people back to about 100 canyon homes near Santa Clarita as traffic began moving again on a Los Angeles County freeway.


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