Crews battle western wildfires that have caused thousands of evacuations


In Utah, fire officials reported “great progress” on the Parleys Canyon Fire Sunday but several communities near Salt Lake City remain under evacuation. “Fire is now 10% contained. Moderate fire behavior was observed today, and aircraft supported firefighters throughout the day,” officials said on Twitter Sunday. The flames have burned 619 acres since the fire began Saturday, official said.
In California, the Dixie Fire, the nation’s largest active fire and the second largest fire in state history, grew to 570,211 acres Sunday and is only 31% contained, according to InciWeb, the US clearinghouse for wildfire information.
Across the country, 12 states are fighting 97 large fires or complexes, which have burned a total of 2,104,669 acres. As of Sunday, 33 Incident Management Teams and more than 25,000 wildland firefighters and support personnel are assigned to incidents, the National Interagency Fire Center said.
Oregon got some good news Sunday, as the Bootleg Fire, which at one point grew to be the largest wildfire in the United States, reached 100% containment, according to InciWeb.

No fatalities were reported from the fire, which currently measures 413,717 acres. It started on July 6th and tore through more than 400 structures and 342 vehicles.

Meanwhile, California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) said Sunday it’s monitoring the potential for a dry offshore wind event this week that could lead to new fires.

“Given this wind event and current conditions including extreme to exceptional drought and extremely dry vegetation, PG&E has begun sending 48-hour advance notifications to customers in targeted areas where PG&E may need to proactively turn power off for safety to reduce the risk of wildfire from energized power lines,” PG&E said in a news release.

About 39,000 residents across 16 counties could be impacted by potential power outages, the company said.

Thousands evacuated in Utah

As the Parleys Canyon Fire grew over the weekend, more than 6,000 homes were evacuated east of Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday afternoon.

The evacuations affect homes in the communities of Summit Park, Pine Brook, Lambs Canyon and Mill Creek, according to the Utah Department of Natural Resources.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office urged residents to leave their homes for both their own safety as well as first responders’.

“To the residents who are refusing to evacuate for the #ParleysCanyonFire – you are hampering efforts and are putting first responders in danger. PLEASE evacuate immediately!” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post.

Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox said a Red Cross evacuation center opened at Park City High School.

“We have been extremely blessed and lucky this fire season — but the #ParleysCanyonFire is big and dangerous.” Cox wrote in a Facebook post. “Please be careful and follow all evacuation orders. We’re all praying for the safety of our firefighters as the work to protect homes and lives.”
Officials estimated Saturday the Parleys Canyon Fire had burned 2,500 to 3,000 acres, but later lowered the estimate to 619 acres after aerial flight mapping was completed Sunday, fire officials said.

Dixie Fire threatens thousands of structures

Further west, the Dixie Fire burning across two national forests, a national park and four counties in California continues to grow by thousands of acres.
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Three first responders have been injured while fighting to the Dixie Fire in Northern California. There are no reports of fatalities, Cal Fire said.

A total of 1,173 structures, including residences, commercial buildings and other minor structures, have been destroyed with another 80 structures damaged, according to Cal Fire. Nearly 15,000 structures are threatened by the flames.

CNN’s Aya Elamroussi, Alta Spells and Andy Rose contributed to this report.





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