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

The largest wildfire in the nation has forced the evacuations of more than 1,500 residents, destroyed 13 homes and charred 49,000 acres near Brian Head resort in southern Utah, officials said Tuesday.

On Monday, more evacuations were ordered for folks living in areas expected to see strong winds and low humidity.

"Most of the fire activity has occurred in the areas outside and north of town, and due to the extraordinary efforts of firefighters, Brian Head Resort, the town of Brian Head and other local businesses have been unaffected by the fire", Wilkerson said.

"Horse Valley will be an area of concern (Monday), but crews have begun to prepare for this using dozers and retardant dropped from air tankers to establish indirect firelines", the town of Brian Head said on its Facebook page.

The blaze broke out late Monday afternoon and quickly grew to almost 1.5 square miles, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

Wind gusts of up to 35 mph spread the so-called Manzanita fire over 5,000 acres in just matter of hours Monday afternoon. Powell said it's been an "emotional roller coaster" for her and her grandparents, who live part of the year at a cabin near the fire. "Until it's totally out, you won't know if you'll be ok".

Firefighters also responded to other smaller fires across the region.


If the events can happen, they are likely to be scaled back with fewer visitors - and with no fireworks, he said, adding that they are hopeful but realistic.

"I hope that you recognize the sacrifice and the expertise that these firefighters bring", said Vickers. Do they know how the fire started? Yes.

"Things change day to day", Mr Wilder said.

In related news, a wildfire in California's central coast has surged out of control. Crews are facing dry, windy conditions and a "high potential" for extreme fire behavior. A traffic accident sparked another fire on a remote stretch of highway 100 kilometres east of Los Angeles.

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. The blaze was 10% contained.

Two people were hospitalized in the solo-vehicle crash and subsequent auto fire that caused the wildfire Monday afternoon. The fire is only 20 percent contained.

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