A look at wildfires burning through Western states
LOWER LAKE, Calif. (AP) — Wildfires are charging through several states in the parched West, scorching homes and forcing people to flee. Flames are plaguing some California residents, who had to evacuate for the second time in recent weeks after blazes exploded in size.
Here’s a look at wildfires burning through Western states:
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A Northern California blaze grew Tuesday, prompting more evacuations, many of them residents who had recently returned home after a nearby massive blaze first threatened their homes.
The wildfire had charred almost 22 square miles by Monday evening. It was 5 percent contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.
The fire, which erupted Sunday several miles from the community of Lower Lake, almost more than doubled in size overnight despite cooler temperatures and higher humidity.
For the second time in as many weeks, residents had to evacuate their homes because of the uncontained fire lighting up rocky hills about 100 miles north of San Francisco.
More than 1,100 firefighters are battling the blaze that is threatening 50 structures. No homes have been destroyed, and no injuries have been reported.
Meanwhile, firefighters have nearly surrounded the larger nearby blaze that started about two weeks ago and has burned 109 square miles. That fire destroyed 43 homes.
All evacuation orders have been lifted as crews have increased containment of a small wildfire sparked by a burning motor-home in rural Riverside County that left one person burned.
State fire officials said Tuesday that the blaze about halfway between Temecula and Palm Desert has been held to just under 500 acres. It is 50 percent contained.
On Monday evacuation orders were issued for a handful of neighborhoods east of State Route 74, but all were called off late Tuesday morning.
The blaze near Anza started as a motor home fire that spread to vegetation.
Officials say one person from the motor home suffered burns to about three percent of his or her body. Three firefighters were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.
A fire has burned almost 18 square miles in heavy timber in Glacier National Park, prompting some trail and campsite closures.
The flames spotted Sunday afternoon were threatening a historic patrol cabin and come weeks after another blaze led visitors to evacuate campsites and resorts in the park during prime tourist season.
Crews fought the new fire from the air Tuesday because it is in such remote, rugged terrain.
Problems with firefighting efforts could arise with temperatures between 95 and 100 degrees expected through Thursday and strong winds Friday.
The older fire continues to burn, remaining at nearly 7 square miles and more than halfway contained.
Authorities say a 10-square-mile wildfire near the Arizona-California line that forced an evacuation order is now 40 percent contained.
Officials said crews on Tuesday worked to hold the blaze in the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge amid favorable weather conditions and relatively light winds.
Suppression actions continued on the perimeter of the Willow Fire with firefighters improving established fire lines and initiating mop-up. The fire broke out Saturday.
Officials say the evacuation order was lifted late Monday morning for 900 homes after crews made solid efforts in protecting them and conditions there became more favorable.
Byron Steward, emergency management coordinator for Mohave County, says around 100 homes in the Topock area will remain evacuated because they’re near 11 homes that were burned Saturday.
ELSEWHERE IN THE WEST
— A big wildfire burning along the west shore of Lake Chelan in Washington has grown to nearly 54 square miles, but firefighters were keeping it away from the communities of Holden Village and Stehekin.
— A wildfire in Lewis County, Washington, charred about 100 acres and was controlled Tuesday.
— In Alaska, the fire season has officially become the second biggest on record. More than 5.08 million acres — or 7,940 square miles — has burned this year. Fire spokesman Sam Harrel says Alaska won’t beat the 6.6 million acres burned in 2004 because the state has entered its seasonal wet period.