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Evacuations ordered for fire on California coast

28 June 2017

The human-caused Brian Head Fire started June 17 in the town of Brian Head, according to InciWeb, about 90 miles from the Utah-Arizona border via Interstate 15.

Officials couldn't immediately say how many homes or people are affected by the evacuation order.

"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".

CAL FIRE said on June 22 that firefighters have responded to 1,878 wildfires, burning over 19,000 acres, since January 1, representing a threefold increase compared with the same time previous year.

The fire near the small city of Prescott was fanned by 35 mph (56 kph) winds and has charred more than 28 square miles (73 square kilometers).

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That blaze broke out late Monday afternoon and grew to about 500 acres in just a few hours, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

"There's no question that our inability to manage the forests the way they should and could be managed has led to more destruction", he said.

Steve Bloch, legal director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, said Noel's assertion is an over-simplification of wildfires that are the result of fire suppression, climate change, drought and unpredictable winds. "This thing has been a beast".

The wildfire has already forced over 1,500 people from their homes, and so far, 13 homes have been destroyed.

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

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A wildfire in a rugged inland area of Southern California grew substantially overnight to almost 8 square miles (21 sq. kilometers). The blaze was 20 percent contained at midday Tuesday.

Containment is estimated at 40 percent.

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.

Two people were taken to hospital after the crash and subsequent auto blaze that caused the wildfire on Monday afternoon. John Cammack was left with severe burns after falling from a fire engine when the winds shifted and the flames changed direction.

The Arizona Republic reported that another unauthorised drone was spotted on Sunday, temporarily halting aerial efforts to put out a fire northwest of Flagstaff that is 88% contained.

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