Brian Head, Other Utah Wildfires Prompt Plea For Caution

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Mr. Craft said the fire should be completely contained within a day.

In Southern California, a wildfire broke out after a auto crashed on a freeway and prompted evacuations of nearby homes in the city of Santa Clarita.

The western wildfire season is in full swing with more than 20 fires blazing in Utah, Arizona and California. The following communities remain evacuated per local law enforcement: Panguitch Lake, Horse Valley, Beaver Dam, Castle Valley, Blue Springs, Rainbow Meadows, Mammoth Creek, Dry Lakes, Second Left Hand Canyon and the town of Brian Head.

"Officials say the fire now covers almost 67 square miles and is 10 percent contained".

2012 was the third worst year for wildfires, with 9.2 million acres (37231.1 square km) burned, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The calls paint a picture of the Brian Head Fire's early moments before it became the largest in the nation, consuming almost 85 square miles and torching 13 homes.

The blaze that began Saturday is in the area where 19 elite firefighters died four years ago battling another wildfire. Investigators say it was sparked on June 17 near the Brian Head resort by someone using a torch tool to burn weeds. The authorities ordered more evacuations on Monday in a sparsely-populated area, as it is feared stronger winds and lower humidity could fan the flames in a northerly direction.

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Mark Finney, a researcher at the U.S. Forest Service Fire Science Laboratory in Missoula, Montana, said getting rid of the dead trees in the Brian Head area probably would not have made much difference.

Several nearby communities have been evacuated. So far, no structures have been burned. Mammoth Creek Road is closed at the junction with Highway 143. Mayer is located about 70 miles north of Phoenix.

"It has been a pretty busy June", said Richard Cooper, Weber County warden over wildland fire. Are there fires burning anywhere else? Yes. Graham in southeastern Arizona is 43 percent contained.

The fire has forced more than 1,500 people from their homes and cabins in southern Utah, according to the Associated Press.

Cal Fire said the Hill Fire, which started Monday in the San Luis Obispo County, has burned about 1,600 acres.

Crews in California, meanwhile, had to deal with two new powerful and fast-growing fires, and Arizona firefighters had to ground aircraft because of unauthorised drones over a blaze near Flagstaff.

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