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Western wildfires force evacuations in Arizona, California

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – The Western United States on Monday signaled a hot, dry and windy day as sailors from California to New Mexico battled wildfires that have claimed hundreds more. leave their homes.

Hundreds of homes were evacuated outside Flagstaff, Arizona, and the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort was closed as a precaution due to the fire – the second to hit this year.

People expect winds of up to 50 mph (80 kph) as they fight the blaze that engulfs the parts of the foot left by another fire that has been extinguished on top of two. houses. No homes were lost in the fire reported Sunday that burned about 8 square miles (20 square kilometers).

“It was really like déjà vu,” Coconino County Sheriff Jon Paxton said. “We’re in a certain position to do the same thing we did a month and a half ago. People are tired.”

Fires have started this spring in several states in the Western U.S., where the climate and constant drought change the frequency and intensity of the fire and grass.

The number of cross miles burned this year is more than double the national average 10 years, and States like New Mexico set the records with catastrophic fires that destroyed hundreds of homes while disrupting the environment thought to disrupt water supplies.

Nationwide, more than 6,200 firefighters are battling it out in about three dozen fires that have been extinguished over 1 million acres (4,408 square kilometers), according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

While in Alaska, forecasters say many Southwest fires have grown significantly in the past week, which is common for that area. Southwest Alaska can have short periods of severe fire disaster because free rain can provide comfort, but from mid -May the country is hot and windy, helping to dry out. to plants.

Monday’s good weather helped prolong the spread of a tundra fire about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from an Alaskan town. Low temperatures and changing winds are driving the fire in St. Louis.

The fire is estimated to have engulfed about 193 square miles (500 square kilometers). It blows dry grass and trees in southwestern Alaska.

In California, evacuations were ordered at about 300 homes near a wildfire that broke out over the weekend in a wooded area north of Los Angeles near the Pacific Crest Trail in the mountains. Of San Gabriel.

The fire saw re -growth Sunday evening and by noon Monday had burned about 1.5 square miles (3.9 square km) of pine trees and dry grass, the fire department said. spokeswoman Dana Dierkes.

“The wood is very dry, so it acts like a ladder, carrying the flames from the bottom of the trees to the top,” Dierkes said. The teams will also be battling winds that are not expected to strengthen after the day, he said.

In addition to the release for some, the rest of the mountain town of Wrightwood, with about 4,500 residents, is under suspension. Some roads were closed.

The fire rate was 18%.

Five people were rescued from a disaster area after a wildfire broke out Monday near Dulzura in San Diego County near the Mexican border and spread over nearly 600 acres (242 acres). ), officials said.

Two of the rescuers were taken to a hospital but did not immediately say how they were hurt or their condition, fire officials said.

Fire levels were raised due to the heat and dryness of the weekend in Southern California. It was expected to be colder Monday, but a heat wave was expected in the middle of the week, the National Weather Service said.

In Northern California, a 50-mile (80-km) stretch of State Route 70 was closed Monday after roads were filled with dirt, rocks and dead trees during the storm. the flow of the stream with a burning debris.

Several vehicles were rescued Sunday evening from debris flowing down the highway when the hills were engulfed by last year’s massive Dixie Fire. No injuries were reported.

The causes of the new fires in California were investigated.

U.S. Forest Service officials told a 57 -year -old camper to light a second sheet of fire and place it under a rock Saturday near the source of the Arizona fire. . The fire was reported a day later. Court documents show the man told officials he was trying to put out the fire with his sleeping bag, but his lawyer told the federal court on Monday that he did not think his client was responsible for the fire. starting a fire.

Janetta Kathleen, a native of Flagstaff, rode her horse, Squish, up the hill to get a better view of the fire Sunday evening and watched her crawl through the houses in the shade of the mountain. . His home was not directly on the path of the fire, but his family, two dogs and horses were ready to leave as soon as possible.

“I need to know what’s going on because I have decisions to make for my family,” he said. “If the wind moves, we’re in trouble.”

Hikers, campers and others enjoying the forest will also leave on Sunday. A rest home was built at the middle school.

The strong wind sent firewood across U.S. Route 89, the main route in search for the east entrance of the Grand Canyon, through the Navajo Nation and up into Utah. Many people walk between the recording and Flagstaff for work. Parts of the highway were closed on Monday.

“We’re not going to do exactly the right thing to put out the fire to end everything right now,” said Brady Smith, spokesman for the Coconino National Dance. “That is not our main idea and it is not possible now. Now he was focusing on protecting his life and property. “

Smoke from a fire near Flagstaff raised cloudy skies in Colorado on Monday, covering views of the Rocky Mountains from Denver and other cities across the state.

Meanwhile, firefighters are working to contain a small fire that burns juniper and pine nuts that briefly issued evacuation orders Sunday in the San Luis Valley of the Rio Grande National Forest in the Philippines. south of Colorado.

The National Weather Service released Red flag report for the severe fire crisis in central and southern Colorado and the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Winds are expected to ease after Monday with water moving later this week in parts of the Southwest, the ministry said.

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Western wildfires force evacuations in Arizona, California Source link Western wildfires force evacuations in Arizona, California

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