National media turns its attention to the Brian Head Fire

Kristopher Drake
June 30, 2017

June is too early for so many Utah wildfires but plenty of blazes are raging anyway. It closed after a weekend vehicle crash sparked a smoky fire in dry conditions.

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.

There were a total of 36 crews with 1,140 firefighters working the blaze with 49 engines and 11 helicopters, according to the Great Basin Coordination Center. However, firefighters haven't been so lucky in southern Utah, where 100-foot flames are engulfing an area near the Brian Head Ski Resort.

It's so far been worse than the last 3 years, said Jason Curry, spokesman for the Utah Division of Forestry and State Lands. The fire is about 10% contained.

"This is a catastrophic fire, no two ways about it", Garfield County Sheriff Jim Perkins said.

Randi Powell said her grandfather is hoping to get up to see his cabin on Tuesday.

"We really need people to stop spreading rumors", Schlosser said.

U.S. Forest Service officials and Utah state officials didn't immediately have information about logging requests in the area. But that has not stopped them worrying. "Until it's totally out, you won't know if you'll be OK".

If the events can happen, they are likely to be scaled back with fewer visitors - and with no fireworks, he said, adding that they are hopeful but realistic. What they are saying "Things change day-to-day".

Low humidity, temperatures hovering around 90 Fahrenheit and 35 miles per hour (55 kph) wind gusts are in the forecast through the weekend and may "contribute to extreme fire behavior", the National Weather Service said in an advisory.

The fire near the small city of Prescott, fanned by 56kph winds, has charred more than 73 square kilometers.

A 9-square-mile (15-square-kilometer) fire is California's largest current blaze in an inland region about 80 miles (130 kilometers) east of Los Angeles. The blaze was 10% contained. As of Monday, the area remained under a warning from the National Weather Service that "gusty winds and low humidities will combine to cause critical fire weather conditions this afternoon".

The fire remains under investigation and no citations have been issued.

The blaze that began Saturday is in the area where 19 elite firefighters died four years ago battling another wildfire.

Seventeen other fires are also being fought across Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon.

A drone that was spotted flying over a massive wildfire in northern Arizona temporarily grounded all firefighting aircraft Wednesday night.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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