Jun 26, 2017

Utah wildfire grows to largest active fire in the U.S.

Brian Head, UT
USA
by
Brady Mccombs
,
The Denver Post via the Associated Press
Smoke from a wildfire rises as it burns through trees and ground cover on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the “Brian Head Fire” started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. Photo: George Frey, Getty Images
Smoke from a wildfire rises as it burns through trees and ground cover on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the “Brian Head Fire” started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. Photo: George Frey, Getty Images

The nation’s largest wildfire has forced more than 1,500 people from their homes and cabins in a southern Utah mountain area home to a ski town and popular fishing lake.

Firefighters battled high winds Monday as they fought a fire that has grown to 72 square miles (184 square kilometers) and burned 13 homes — larger than any other fire in the country now, state emergency managers said.

Some flames reached 100 feet high, while fire crews faced dry, windy conditions Tuesday and a “high potential” for extreme fire behavior, officials said late Monday.

The estimated firefighting costs now top $7 million for a fire started June 17 near the Brian Head Resort by someone using a torch tool to burn weeds, they said. Investigators said they know who the culprit is, but they haven’t yet released the person’s identity or what charges will be leveled.