Wildfires burn hundreds of acres in Utah, California

Jun 30, 2017, 00:42
Wildfires burn hundreds of acres in Utah, California

More than two dozen firefighters from Eastern Idaho arrived in Southern Utah Monday to help battle the country's largest wildfire, outside of Cedar City.

"Red flag warnings continue over parts of the West", CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen reported.

The blaze was burning in the southeastern area of Santa Clarita, a city of some 181,500 residents.

California is among the states affected.

In total, the fire, which was sparked by someone using a torch to burn weeds on June 17, has burned 13 homes and forced more than 1,500 people from their residences in southern Utah.

While firefighters made good progress over the weekend, Monday saw winds of 30 miles per hour, which increased fire activity, according to Utah Fire. The winds picked up, and soon a hillside was on fire.

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 past year.

At least three helicopters, eight air tankers, fifteen inmate fire crews, four water tenders, five bulldozers and a helitender were at the scene, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer Jody Hagemann told Valley News.

Seventeen other fires are also being fought across Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon. Mayer is located about 70 miles north of Phoenix.

Doug Ducey plans to visit the area Thursday.

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The fires are fueled by triple-digit temperatures and dry conditions.

"We thank the many fearless men and women who have stepped up and responded to wildfires around Arizona", Ducey said. "They are working to protect structures and homes in the area".

The Utah forestry agency said the fire is expected to move farther northeast in the coming days.

In Arizona, firefighters had to ground aircraft after they spotted drones being flown near the fire, Bureau of Land Management spokesman Dennis Godfrey said. The blaze was 10 percent contained.

The Frye Fire burns the western edge of the Pinaleño Mountains in Coronado National Forest above Ft.

With the blaze slackening near Brian Head, though, managers say about 750 residents will be allowed back to their homes on Friday. By 4 p.m., the fire gobbled up 125 acres.

A Global Positioning System flight taken Sunday estimates the fire to be approximately 957 acres.

In California, the Manzanita Fire reached 1,200 acres and was 0% contained Monday night according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

The fire danger as of Tuesday is shown here. Voluntary evacuations are in place in the area.

Last year, a total of 1,080 wildfires burned 101,280 acres in Utah, according to a report by the Great Basin Coordination Center. The fire is 15 percent contained and an investigation into the cause of the blaze is ongoing.

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