Smoke fills Yampa Valley from Utah wildfire

Smoke fills Yampa Valley from Utah wildfire

Firefighters continue to fight against extreme heat and wind, which continue to fan several wildfires across western U.S. Area residents do not need to call the Forest Service Office about the smoke unless they can see the base of a fire, Thompson said.

A wildfire in a rugged inland area of Southern California grew substantially overnight to almost 8 square miles (21 sq. kilometers). The blaze burned more than 83 square miles as of Tuesday.

Weather is expected to continue hot and dry, with gusts as high as 25 miles per hour (40 kph).

"Getting closer to Mayer, it looked like we were driving into some alien sort of invasion, like the whole sky was on fire", she said.

Authorities believe the fire was started over a week ago by someone using a weed torch in bone dry conditions.

With zero percent containment as of press time, firefighters from local, state and federal agencies are still working diligently to suppress the Brian Head Fire, located near the town of Brian Head, according to the Brian Head Fire Department. Only 2 percent of it was contained.

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More than 752 firefighters are fighting the fire, as helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft drop fire retardant.

An evacuation warning had been issued for Highland Home Road east to Highway 243, which includes the communities of Poppet Flats and Silent Valley.

Fifteen-hundred people have been evacuated and 13 homes and eight outbuildings have been destroyed, said fire spokeswoman Elayn Briggs.

Firefighters braced Wednesday for more high winds as they try to slow stubborn wildfires burning in Arizona, Utah and California.

Highway 143 is also closed from the cemetery in Parowan to an area just south of Panguitch and Mammoth Creek Road is also closed at the junction with the highway. Baker, a Mayer resident, got word of the evacuation while filling up at a gas station. No injuries were reported and more than a dozen residential buildings were damaged. Another wildfire in Arizona forced the evacuation of a town with about 1,400 residents.

The Brian Head Fire started around midday Saturday, June 17, and grew very quickly through dense timber on lands administered by Brian Head Town, Iron County, in cooperation with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands. The fire has grown to almost two square miles (365 hectares).