Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Evacuations lifted for fire on California coast

Evacuations lifted for fire on California coast

Winds are expected to be coming out of the west at about 10 to 20 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 30 miles per hour Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

About 175 people have been briefly allowed back to their homes near Panguitch Lake since Sunday under escort, said Denise Dastrup, from the Garfield County Sheriff's Office. Fire crews are battling dry, windy conditions and what officials say is a "high potential" for extreme fire behaviour. It has spread several kilometres east to an area around Panguitch Lake, a popular spot for fishing.

Sizzling heat is exacerbating the fire risks out West, where tired crews have been battling blazes in Utah, Nevada, Oregon and California.

The fire is the largest in the nation at 78 square miles (201 square kilometres).

As of Tuesday morning, the blaze had scorched almost 50,000 acres, the bulk of that in the Dixie National Forest, with crews managing to carve containment lines around just 10 percent of the fire's perimeter, officials said. The fire started on June 17 as a result of someone near the Brian Head Resort using a torch tool to burn weeds, say, investigators.

The fire department issued voluntary evacuations residents living on four roads in Riverside County, and evacuation warnings were in place in other areas, including the communities of Poppet Flats and Silent Valley.

A wildfire continued to surge out of control early Tuesday near vineyards on California's Central Coast has forced about 250 people to evacuate from their homes.

Besides the evacuation of 1,500 people in the area, 13 homes have been destroyed and as of Tuesday, containment is at only 10 percent.

The fire danger as of Tuesday is shown here.

The evacuation order is for a string of homes along about five sparsely populated rural roads in and around the small town of Santa Margarita about 10 miles (16 km) north of the much larger city of San Luis Obispo.

Two people were taken to the hospital with unknown injuries in connection to the accident, according to officials.

Aircraft and more than 100 firefighters are battling the blaze.

The blaze was first reported at around 3 p.m. after a single-car crash near Lamb Canyon sparked a 30-acre fire that quickly began to spread at a "critical rate", officials said.

State Sen. Evan Vickers (R-Cedar City) said the Brian Head fire has caused anxiety locally because of the lost cabins and lost memories, as well as the safety of firefighters like his son-in-law.

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