Southern Utah wildfire grows, crews make slight gains

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 27, 2017

Better weather conditions have limited the growth of a wildfire in Utah that has prompted the evacuation of 1,500 people from hundreds of homes and cabins, officials said Sunday night. In Southern California, a wildfire broke out after a vehicle crashed on a freeway and prompted evacuations of some nearby homes in the city of Santa Clarita.

The Brian Head Fire remained at 42,800 acres Sunday night, but the fire was considered 10 percent contained, a slight increase from Sunday morning, according to fire officials. To counter that, a bulldozer fireline was created across Horse Valley on Sunday, and air tankers dropped retardant immediately adjacent to the dozer line.

The Frye Fire in southern Arizona covers almost 30,000 acres and is only 10% contained, the forest service at Coronado National Forest said.

The Brian Head Fire in Utah, named after a town in the southwest corner of the state, is now the largest fire covering more than 42,000 acres by Sunday morning, KUTV, Salt Lake City, reported.

The Brian Head Fire is one of several wildfires affecting the U.S. Southwest: the Corral Fire in New Mexico's Gila National Forest has burned more than 17,000 acres; the Frye Fire in Arizona's Coronado National Forest has burned more than 35,500 acres; the Boundary Fire in Arizona's Kaibab National Forest has burned more than 17,150 acres; and the Poker Brown Fire in Nevada burned 15,537 acres in total. Evacuation orders were given in nearby alpine communities that are generally known for second homes as a weekend getaway for Las Vegas residents.

"This is a catastrophic fire, no two ways about it", said Garfield County Sheriff Jim Perkins. Thirteen homes and eight outbuildings have been destroyed as of Sunday.

"Weather conditions do not favor a quick end to the fire as dry northwest winds flow across the fire through early Sunday", the statement reads. There's also a chance for thunderstorms that could add more sparks.

A prime focus of Monday's campaign was the fire's southern perimeter, and where gusts fanned flames closer to the Mammoth Creek and Horse Valley areas.

A Type 1 Incident Management Team that was scheduled to take over control of firefighting operations on the wildfire's eastern half starting Sunday will take control Monday morning.

The US Forest Service has reported that at least 13 large wildfires are burning across the western United States with more reported smaller ones across the region.

This version corrects that Santa Clarita is north, not south, of Los Angeles.

The Brian Head Fire in southwest Utah continued to burn structures Friday.

A southern Utah wildfire has grown more, reaching 62.7 square miles by Saturday night. The blaze was one of several burning in the U.S. West as extreme heat challenges firefighters.

A wildfire burns through trees and ground cover on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. In Southern California, a wildfire broke out after a vehicle crashed on a freeway. Since the fire began on June 17 in the resort town of Brian Head, several hundred people have been evacuated from their homes.

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