Eastern Idaho firefighters help fight country's largest wildfire in southern Utah

30 June, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Firefighters Battling Two Major California Wildfires

A wildfire burning south of the Riverside County community of Beaumont has jumped to 5,000 acres in size.

KSNV-TV in Las Vegas reported that hot shot fire crews are working alongside cowboys to put out the fires. Officials had been anxious the winds would push the fire to the northwest. The Frye Fire is about 70 miles (120 km) northeast of Tucson, the second-largest city in Arizona.

Mandatory evacuations for dozens of homes were called for in a wildfire in rugged foothills east of Los Angeles that broke out Tuesday, but residents there were allowed back home within a few hours.

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office says it is lifting evacuations for residents of Mayer, population about 1,400. Better weather conditions over the weekend help crews battle the fire.

Officials will search for the operators of drones flying in No Drone Zones, and criminal penalties including fines and imprisonment are applicable.

As fire containment lines increase on portions of the fire, the assigned resources will be shifted to more active portions of the fire.

The fire risk remains high, with the National Weather Service issuing a red-flag warning for much of southern Utah thanks to expected wind gusts into the night.

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

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Some of the 200 firefighters on the scene are providing protection for nearby neighborhoods, but there are no evacuations.

Near San Luis Obispo, the so-called Hill Fire destroyed the home of Big Bang Theory actor Johnny Galecki. The fire is 10 percent contained. Both fires are threatening structures and homes.

More than 100 residents were forced to evacuate their Santa Clarita homes Tuesday when a blaze threatened 80 homes in the Southern California town.

"A significant area of thin density smoke attributed to a number of wildfires over the Western and Southwestern United States could be seen this morning stretching from Wyoming southward over a good portion of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico".

Doug Ducey says the growing wildfire, which is near the site of a blaze that killed 19 firefighters four years ago, is the state's top priority. By keeping the fires under control, they prevented them from becoming major blazes. Homes there have been evacuated since June 17. As firefighters work to get the upper hand on the moving fire, the Federal Aviation Administration is prohibiting aircrafts from flying in the area "to provide a safe environment for aerial firefighting operations", according to its website.

Local authorities are investigating the incident.

Wednesday's fire growth was primarily in the northwest corner of the fire perimeter. Previous thinning in the area also helped to reduce the intensity of the blaze.

In Arizona, more than 500 firefighters were said to be fighting a fire that has burned 32 square miles while winds rip at 35 mph, the Associated Press reports.

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