Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Utah officials blame lack of logging for major wildfire

Utah officials blame lack of logging for major wildfire

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

Authorities said Monday they're ordering more evacuations at the fire that has torched more than 67 square miles (174 square kilometers) and cost more than $7 million to fight.

More than 1,500 people have been forced from their homes by the largest wildfire burning in the United States.

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.

"We thank the many fearless men and women who have stepped up and responded to wildfires around Arizona", Ducey said.

Since April, the state has experienced more than a dozen large wildfires "aided by high temperatures, winds, and available fuels", his office said in a statement.

An entire town of 1,400 was evacuated in southern Arizona as the Goodwin fire threatened homes.

Winds gusted up to 30 miles per hour Monday and spread the fire on the northern end, dropping the containment of the fire to 9 percent. The fire started on Saturday and fire officials are still investigating what ignited it.

Firefighters also responded to other smaller fires across the region.

Another California wildfire, sparked by a traffic accident on a remote stretch of a highway 80 miles east of Los Angeles, grew to more than nine square miles (23 sq. kilometers) in hot and windy conditions.

Firefighters in Southern California were battling a fast-moving wildfire on Sunday that closed a highway and forced residents from their homes around the area of Santa Clarita, a city north of Los Angeles, authorities said.

Firefighters hope to douse areas with intense blazes at the Utah fire's southern end so residents can return to homes in the town of Brian Head.

Mayer has about 1,400 residents, and a shelter was set up at Bradshaw Mountain High School in Prescott Valley.

In New Mexico, the Corral Fire reached about 17,000 acres and is burning with low to moderate intensity, according to New Mexico Fire Information.

The blaze is one of several in the West. Crews in California were making gains against two new fires that spread quickly, and firefighters in Idaho battled five lightning-sparked wildfires burning in grass and brush.

Michael Noel on Monday said environmentalists would rather see the Dixie National Forest burn down than to see logging occur in the state. Nearly 1 million more acres had burned by Thursday, compared with the 10-year average through June 22.

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