Wildfire continues to threaten towns in Utah – Residents evacuated
High winds spread a wildfire over 61,400 acres (24,847 ha) near the two towns Eureka and Mammoth, about 55 miles (88.5 km) south of Salt Lake City. Crews evacuated the entire town of Mammoth on Friday. The town’s residents were allowed to return home Saturday before the fire shifted toward the town again forcing a second evacuation.
By Sunday night crews had the fire 70 percent contained and hoped changing winds forecast for today would help fire fighters make further headway.
Nearly 430 firefighters continued to fight the fire, including several 20-person crews, four helicopters, 35 engines, five bulldozers and two water trucks.
Two state highways, highways 6 and 36, and a recreation area were also closed. People were warned to stay away from a popular rafting area on the Colorado River called Ruby Canyon.The highways were reopened on Sunday.
Separate fires in Utah and Colorado also connected Sunday and were burning 8,000 acres (3,237 ha) of forest, grass and sage.
The cause of the fire had not been determined, although it is believed to have been sparked by a person. No damage or injuries have been reported yet.
Uncontrolled burn in California destroyed homes
A fire in northern Californa set by the Bureau of Land Management to thin brush, got out of control and was burning 2,000 acres (809 ha) and destroying two dozen homes and forcing 500 people to flee. There were no injuries. Meanwhile, firefighters gained the upper hand on the fire and the blaze was about 70 percent contained on Sunday.
High winds and hot weather Friday fanned flames of the “controlled burn” beyond a 100-acre (40 ha ) expanse of brush and weeds.
Air tanker planes, helicopters and several hundred firefighters were struggling the fire about 300 miles (482 km) northeast of San Francisco.
The INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SITUATION REPORT from 4 July 1999 can be quoted as follows:
Initial attack and large fire activity continued in the Rocky Mountain, Great Basin, northern California and Northwest Areas. Alaska reported several thousand new acres burned on fires in limited suppression areas. The National Interagency Coordination Center mobilized an infrared aircraft, airtankers, helicopters, a shower unit, radio equipment, engines, crews and miscellaneous overhead. High to extreme fire indices were reported in Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Alaska, Wyoming, west Texas and Idaho.
FIRE WEATHER WATCHES ARE POSTED IN EASTERN, CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN NEVADA FOR POSSIBLE STRONG WINDS, MOST OF UTAH FOR GUSTY WINDS, WESTERN COLORADO FOR GUSTY SOUTHWEST WINDS AND WYOMING’S SOUTHERN PLAINS FOR GUSTY AFTERNOON WINDS. A NEAR RED FLAG WARNING HAS BEEN POSTED FOR THE LARAMIE VALLEY AND SOUTHEAST MOUNTAINS OF WYOMING FOR GUSTY WINDS AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY THIS AFTERNOON.
A weakening upper level trough over the northwest states will bring unseasonably cool temperatures with showers and isolated wet thunderstorms to Washington, Oregon, northern Idaho and northwest Montana. Southern Idaho, northwest Wyoming and eastern Montana will be breezy and cool with isolated afternoon thunderstorms in northwest Wyoming and eastern Montana.
South of the trough over the Great Basin strong upper level winds aloft are expected to surface in the afternoon bringing sustained winds of 15 to 25 MPH, gusting to 35 MPH over much of Nevada, Utah, northern Arizona, New Mexico and southern Wyoming. Limited moisture will confine thunderstorm activity to the mountains of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming. There is a chance of dry thunderstorms over northeast Utah and northwest Colorado.
California will be mostly sunny with lighter winds and areas of fog and low clouds along the coast.
High temperatures will range from the 60’s and 70’s along the Pacific coast and the northern states. Inland California, Utah, Nevada and Wyoming will have highs in the 80’s. Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico will have highs in the 90’s with the southwestern deserts reaching 110 degrees.
For detailed information regarding specified regions, please refer to the whole report.