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

Wind fans the flames of Utah fire that has burned 13 homes

Wind fans the flames of Utah fire that has burned 13 homes

Crews in California, meanwhile, had to deal with two new powerful and fast-growing fires, and Arizona firefighters had to ground aircraft because of unauthorised drones over a blaze near Flagstaff.

While firefighters made good progress over the weekend, Monday saw winds of 30 miles per hour, which increased fire activity, according to Utah Fire. The largest, the so-called Frye Fire, was sparked by lightening on June 7 and was estimated on Tuesday to cover almost 40,0000 acres near Mount Graham.

The Brian Head Fire in Utah is the nation's largest largest wildfire and firefighters are still struggling to gain control of it.

The flames have already destroyed at least 20 buildings and hundreds of people have been evacuated.

On Monday, the wind was pushing flames in the direction of two mountain communities, Poppet Flats and Silent Valley, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department Capt. Lucas Spelman said.

In addition, a U.S. Forest Service researcher said logging probably would not have made a big difference in the high-altitude fire that is sending embers from tree-to-tree over long distances - normal for the ecosystem.

Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency Friday in Arizona to authorize the use of $200,000 of emergency funds to counter increased wildfire activity.

"We thank the many courageous men and women who have stepped up and responded to wildfires around Arizona", Ducey said.

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.

State fire officials say the blaze has grown to 125 acres and there's zero containment.

Soon after it ignited just after 3 a vehicle crash near the Lamb Canyon Landfill, the flames were moving at "a critical rate", a Cal Fire statement said.

Its size at that point had shrunk by about 50 acres, the department said.

Brian Head fire burns and then moves on to burn some more. Over 300 firefighters will continue to fight the fire into Tuesday. Indeed, a "Red Flag" wildfire danger warning remained in effect through Wednesday from Logan south through Ogden, Salt Lake City (where smoke from the fire had the capital under a brown haze Tuesday), Provo, Manti, Cedar City, St. George and throughout Zion National Park and the Grand Staircase-Escalante regions. Voluntary evacuations are in place in the area.

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