Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Utah officials blame lack of logging for major wildfire

Utah officials blame lack of logging for major wildfire

The Utah Division of Forestry Fire State Lands said on Tuesday on its website that the fire had burned onto the Dixie National Forest, leading to parts of it being closed.

Firefighters in California and Arizona have managed to maintain smaller wildfires that broke out in various areas recently.

"We're continuing to work with the sheriff's office to evaluate the needs of the evacuees and to see what we can do to get those folks back to their homes", Briggs said.

The brush fire quickly grew from 1,200 acres at 9:30 p.m.to a massive 5,000 acres at around midnight, the Riverside County Fire Department said, adding that it had deployed more than 300 emergency workers to battle the blaze.

Firefighters worked Tuesday to stem both further growth on the northern perimeter of the blaze and to shore up and extend lines in the Panguitch and Dry lakes and Blue Springs areas. The winds, combined with high heat and low humidity, have greatly elevated fire conditions along the the hillsides leading into the San Gorgonio Pass, experts say. The trees died years ago, making irrelevant a 2011 U.S. Forest Service study that found the needles of beetle-killed trees ignite three times faster and burn more intensely than healthy trees.

The Brian Head blaze ranks as the largest of 20 major, active wildfires burning across Utah and five other Western states - Arizona, California, New Mexico, Idaho and Oregon.

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The Utah fire is the largest in the nation at 78 square miles (201 square kilometers). The fire is about 10 percent contained.

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance said the statements were misleading, and countered in a prepared statment that climate change, drought, human activity and wind all play roles.

Evacuation orders have been lifted and residents are returning after a wildfire on California's Central Coast. The fire had grown to nearly 4,400 acres and was 5% contained.

Crews dealt with windy conditions as they battled a northern Arizona wildfire that has burned almost 7 square miles (18 square kilometers).

Nara Visa Fire Chief Gary Girard told The Eastern New Mexico News that John Cammack was severely burned after falling from a fire engine when the winds shifted and the flames changed direction. Authorities also expect to determine where the fire is projected to move.

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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