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


"Red flag warnings continue over parts of the West", CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen reported.

Conditions remained warm, dry and windy in Southern California but a lengthy spell of extreme heat was receding.

Fifteen hundred people have been evacuated from areas of concern, according to Joseph Doherty, a spokesperson for the Utah Division of Emergency Management. Homes there have been evacuated since June 17 since authorities said the fire was started by someone using a torch tool to burn weeds on private land. That amount could increase if the blaze progresses. Officials had been anxious that the winds would push the fire to the northwest. Firefighters were able to keep the flames from destroying any homes or structures Monday.

The Brian Head Fire is one of several wildfires affecting the U.S. Southwest: the Goodwin Fire in Arizona's Prescott National Forest has burned more than 18,000 acres; the Frye Fire in Arizona's Coronado National Forest has burned more than 38,500 acres; the Cole Creek Fire in Nevada has burned more than 4,500 acres; and the Holcomb Fire in California's San Bernardino National Forest has burned more than, 1500 acres.

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Another large blaze in Arizona dubbed the Frye Fire has charred almost 40,000 acres since it was sparked by lightning on June 7 near Mount Graham, but it was more than 40 percent contained by Tuesday, authorities said.

Since April, the state has experienced more than a dozen large wildfires "aided by high temperatures, winds, and available fuels", his office said in a statement.

"More than anything, we want to remind citizens to please, please, please be careful", he said. "I'm issuing today's declaration to make sure they have every resource needed to do their jobs and protect our communities".

That fire was sparked yesterday by a vehicle crash. The department also said it was "working to correct it". Which areas have been affected? However, by 11:45 p.m. local time Monday (2:45 a.m. EDT Tuesday) the highway was reopened, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department's post on Facebook. Two of the largest are in southern Arizona and Utah.

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Most of the fire's latest spread occurred on its northern flank, as winds up to 30 miles per hour propelled flames into parched old growth conifer, beetle-killed timber, sagebrush and grass. Arizona Firefighters here had to ground aircraft because of unauthorised drones over a fire near Flagstaff.

Making matters worse, low humidity and strong winds were expected to arrive in Utah on Tuesday, causing worries that the fire could spread further north.

Meanwhile, in central OR, the Rhoades Canyon Fire grew to 15,000 acres but was 100% contained Sunday. The fire started after a single vehicle collision.

George Huang, a Cal Fire Capt. based in Los Osos, reviews the scene of a wildfire near Huer Huero Road in Santa Margarita, Calif., Tuesday, June 27, 2017.

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