Utah: Brian Head wildfire forces evacuations

Alvin Kelly
June 28, 2017

This Saturday, June 24, 2017, photo, shows a cabin near Panguitch Lake near Panguitch, Utah., that was not burned by a wildfire.

Utah firefighters braced Wednesday for more high winds as they try to slow a stubborn wildfire that has burned 13 homes and forced the evacuation of 1,500 people from a ski resort town. In this Saturday, June 24, 2017, photo, a resident of Panguitch Lake, Utah, carrys belonging out of his cabin as a wildfire approaches the area.

An aerial photo of wildfires burning across nearly 50,000 acres near the ski resort of Brian Head, about 245 miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah is shown in this handout photo provided June 27, 2017. This Saturday, June 24, 2017, photo, shows a home near a burnt hillside caused by a wildfire fire on the west side of Panguitch Lake, near Panguitch, Utah.

Evacuation orders have been lifted and residents are returning after a wildfire on California's Central Coast.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the blaze has grown to 1,200 acres and there's zero containment.

The blaze broke out late on Monday afternoon and quickly grew to almost 1.5 square miles (200 hectares), the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

Over 600 firefighters are battling the blaze that has already burned over 28 square miles (73 square kilometers).

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The town of Brian Head ordered an evacuation of all residents, and the number of people forced from their dwellings throughout the fire zone has climbed to 1,500, according to U.S. Forest Service spokesman Andrew Jackson. More than 500 firefighters were battling the blaze that's near the small town where 19 members of an elite firefighting unit were killed while battling a blaze four years ago.

The fire, dubbed the Manzanita Fire, started about 3:10 p.m. on Lambs Canyon near Dump Road following a single auto crash, the Riverside County Fire Department said in a news release. The blaze was 20 percent contained at midday Tuesday. However, it doesn't seem to be growing.

Voluntary evacuations were issued for Highland Home Rd, Death Valley Rd, Longhorn Rd, and Shirleon Dr.

With the wind predicted to pick up again and gust up to 30 miles per hour (48 kph), Wednesday could be another tough day for fire crews. As of Tuesday, officials said only 5 percent of the fire had been contained.

The fire erupted on June 17 near the ski resort of Brian Head, Utah, about 30 miles northeast of Zion National Park, and spread quickly as high winds drove flames into dense forests, threatening homes in nearby communities.

Sizzling heat is exacerbating the fire risks out West, where tired crews have been battling blazes in Utah, Nevada, Oregon and California. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

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