The Latest: Utah fire burns closer to fishing reservoir
GUINDA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires in the Western United States (all times local):
A Utah wildfire has ballooned closer to a popular fishing reservoir, forcing authorities to shut down high tension power lines and order evacuations for a campground and more neighborhoods of homes and cabins.
The fire burning near Strawberry Reservoir was fueled Wednesday by high winds, heat and very dry conditions. The area is roughly two hours southeast of Salt Lake City.
Fire officials didn’t have an update on the fire’s size Wednesday evening or details on how many homes or people had been forced to flee.
The fire has destroyed about 30 structures so far, but it’s been too dangerous for officials to get an exact count.
State and federal officials were consulting Wednesday evening about whether to close U.S. Highway 40 through the area.
Officials have ordered more Utah residents to evacuate their homes as crews struggled to gain control over a wildfire burning near a popular fishing reservoir.
The fire burning near Strawberry Reservoir has grown to 62 square miles (160 square kilometers) over three days amid high wind gusts, steep terrain and extremely dry conditions.
It has destroyed about 30 structures and led officials to evacuate several hundred homes and cabins in the area about two hours southeast of Salt Lake City.
Officials on Wednesday didn’t have an updated count of buildings evacuated or destroyed. But they extended evacuations to an area dotted with trees and cabins stretching about 20 miles (32 kilometers).
The blaze started Sunday. Officials believe it was human-caused but they’re still investigating how it started.
Crews battling a Northern California wildfire that’s threatening nearly 1,400 buildings are hoping to take advantage of cooler weather to tackle the flames.
Fire spokesman Israel Pinzon says Wednesday is expected to be the coolest day of the week, with temperatures 10 to 15 degrees lower than the triple digits that firefighters have faced.
Roughly 2,500 people had been forced from their homes. Pinzon says officials lifted some mandatory evacuations Tuesday night, though he didn’t know how many people were allowed to return home.
The fire has burned through about 129 square miles (334 square kilometers) in rural counties northwest of Sacramento. It is 25 percent contained.
No structures have been damaged or destroyed.
A southern Colorado wildfire that has destroyed more than 100 homes is still growing.
Officials said Wednesday that the fire has burned 147 square miles (381 square kilometers) since it began June 27.
Officials estimated that the fire about 205 miles (330 kilometers) southwest of Denver is still just 5 percent contained.
They say preventing the fire from spreading further south toward the small mountain town of Cuchara is a priority Wednesday.
Crews are watching for small fires inside neighborhoods as unpredictable winds persist. Nearly 1,000 firefighters are in the area.
Crews are making progress against a Northern California wildfire that threatens hundreds of buildings but say wind and dry vegetation could still fuel the blaze.
California officials said the fire in rural counties northwest of Sacramento was 25 percent contained as of Wednesday morning. That’s up from 15 percent the previous day.
It has burned through 129 square miles (334 square kilometers) after igniting Saturday. Some areas have been under evacuation orders for days.
It’s among the massive wildfires burning in the Western United States and putting some Fourth of July plans on hold.