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

Brian Head Fire continues to threaten homes

Brian Head Fire continues to threaten homes

Utah state Rep. Mike Noel said Tuesday he wants to use the fire near the ski town of Brian Head and a popular fishing lake to highlight the imbalance of power afforded environmental groups under previous presidents and to ease bureaucratic and legal blockades for logging companies.

Officials couldn't immediately say how many homes or people are affected by the evacuation order.

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.

In a press release, the Wildland Fire Prevention and Education team says, "preliminary statistics to date for wildfire occurrence in Utah indicate human activities are responsible for approximately 91 percent of wildfires in 2017 which have burned approximately 73,000 acres".

Authorities ordered more evacuations at the fire that has torched more than 67 square miles (174 square kilometers) in preparation for winds and low humidity that could push fire growth north after calmer weather kept its growth in check over the weekend.

If you noticed the "haze" around the metro areas today, and even in parts of the mountains, that is smoke from a large wildfire in Southern Utah.

About 175 people have been briefly allowed back to their homes near Panguitch Lake since Sunday under escort, said Denise Dastrup, from the Garfield County Sheriff's Office.

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"There's no question that our inability to manage the forests the way they should and could be managed has led to more destruction", he said.

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

The blaze broke out late Monday afternoon and quickly grew to almost 2 square miles (5 sq. kilometers), the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. Crews were expected to strengthen the containment line on the south end of the fire.

Several small communities have been warned to be ready to evacuate.

Two people were taken to the hospital with unknown injuries in connection to the accident, according to officials.

Windy weather also was forecast throughout the state, with gusts up to 30 miles per hour along the Brian Head fire lines expected. John Cammack was left with severe burns after falling from a fire engine when the winds shifted and the flames changed direction. Do they know how the fire started? Yes. The Arizona Republic reports another unauthorized drone was spotted Sunday, temporarily halting aerial efforts to put out a fire northwest of Flagstaff that is 88 percent contained.

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