Car accident sparks major wildfire in California


"As we move down it makes it easier to fight the fire but when it is critical we really just have to make sure and plan ahead and use aircraft and helicopters and get crews in and make sure we can take care of it", Cal Fire Capt. Lucas Spelman told KTLA, a CW-affiliated television station.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Insisting that logging could have cleaned up dead, bug-infested trees that are fueling a Utah wildfire, a Republican state lawmaker blamed federal mismanagement and lawsuits by "tree hugger" environmentalists for the blaze that has burned 13 homes and forced the evacuation of 1,500 people. It began shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday and grew quickly to half a square mile (1.3 sp. kilometers).

There is no official fireworks display in Columbia, but Mark Walter, the town administrator says illegal displays are common, especially at the 282-acre (114-hectare) lake. Officials have said the blaze near the ski town of Brian Head was sparked June 17 by a weed-burning torch. The U.S. Forest Service advised people that what appeared to be a new fire in the San Bernardino Mountains was dust being blown about from an area that burned recently northeast of Big Bear Lake.

The wildfire in southern Utah has grown to become the largest active blaze in the United States.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the collision Sunday caused a tree to catch on fire, beginning a blaze that spread toward the Disney Ranch area.

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The evacuation order is for a string of homes along sparsely populated rural roads in and around the small town of Santa Margarita about 10 miles (16 km) north of the much larger city of San Luis Obispo. He joined several other state and county officials in speaking out.

It closed after a weekend auto crash sparked a smoky fire that ripped through dry brush amid stifling heat. It reached 49,626 acres Tuesday evening as red-flag weather was anticipated Wednesday for a third day in a row; it was 10 percent contained in the evening. Crews are facing dry, windy conditions and a "high potential" for extreme fire behavior.

The heat in the West and Southwest is blamed for the deaths of two people in California, and it could have been a factor in the deaths of two hikers whose bodies were found in New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

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