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article imageUtah's Brian Head Fire is largest active wildfire in the country

By Karen Graham     Jun 27, 2017 in Environment
Brian Head - The Brian Head Fire in Southern Utah has forced over 1,500 people from their homes in and around the popular ski resort and fishing lake. The wildfire has now grown to cover 49,000 acres, fed by gusting winds and low humidity.
Hundreds of firefighters have been battling the wildfire, facing 100-foot flames along with very dry conditions and winds that have been gusting up to 30 mph, leaving a "high potential" for "extreme" fire behavior, officials said late Monday.
Besides the evacuation of 1,500 people in the area, 13 homes have been destroyed and as of Tuesday, containment is at only 10 percent. Resort officials were concerned about the possibility of the Fourth of July festivities being wrecked because of the fire, but on the resort's website, Burke Wilkerson, the Resort's Vice President and General Manager said that "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. None of Brian Head Resort's land or infrastructure have been burned or otherwise damaged."
The resort is currently closed but "will open for the summer season as quickly as possible after normal highway access to town is reinstated," according to the website.
Utah Fire Info
Fox News is reporting that Utah forestry officials' Wildland Fire Prevention and Education team says preliminary statistics to date for wildfires in Utah indicate human activities were responsible for approximately 91 percent of the wildfires in 2017 which have already burned approximately 73,000 acres.
Additionally, the estimated cost of fighting the Brian Head Fire so far has cost over $7.0 million. The fire started on June 17 as a result of someone near the Brian Head Resort using a torch tool to burn weeds, say, investigators. The identity of the culprit is known but the person's name or what charges will be levied have not been released. It's just lucky that no one has been killed.
Brian Head fire burns and then moves on to burn some more.
Brian Head fire burns and then moves on to burn some more.
Utah Fire Info
In related news, a wildfire in California's central coast has surged out of control. The fire broke out Monday afternoon and quickly grew to 500 acres, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. An evacuation order is in place for the area around the small town of Santa Margarita about 10 miles north of the city of San Luis Obispo.
And in Arizona, firefighters had to ground aircraft used in fighting the Frye Fire because of drones being flown in the vicinity of the blaze, said Bureau of Land Management spokesman Dennis Godfrey. Another drone was spotted on Sunday, and it, too, halted aerial firefighting efforts.
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