Several Western states battling raging wildfires

In this Sunday, July 31, 2016 photo, a wildfire crests a knoll in the early morning hours in the Lower Valley near Outlook, Wash. (AP)

Wildfires are raging in several Western states, with some fueled by wind and dry conditions. The fires have forced evacuations as they destroyed homes, threatened many others, and left thousands of firefighters battling the blazes. Here’s a look at some of the fires:


A deadly wildfire that continues to spread near California’s scenic Big Sur was started by an illegal camp fire.

Fire information officer Deborah McClain said Tuesday investigators determined the blaze started July 22 in a day camping area of Garapata Park where campfires are prohibited.

Officials are still trying to determine who started the fire before it charred more than 69 square miles and destroyed 57 homes, McClain said.

More than 5,400 firefighters from across California are fighting the blaze that is threatening 2,000 structures. It was 25 percent contained.

All California state parks in the area are closed.

In California’s Central Valley, crews got a lot more control over a stubborn wildfire that has destroyed three homes and is threatening another 400 northeast of Fresno.

Authorities said firefighters increased containment to 60 percent.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said about 300 people were under evacuation orders from homes just outside Sierra National Forest.

The 3.4-square-mile blaze started Saturday and quickly spread through steep, rugged terrain covered with dry vegetation and dead trees.


Federal officials mobilized two U.S. Department of Defense retardant-dropping aircraft to help fight wildfires in the West.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise said the C-130s will go into action on Wednesday and initially be based in Boise.

More than 1,400 firefighters were battling a blaze in rugged terrain in southwest Idaho that grew to 66 square miles and has destroyed a popular, state-operated backcountry yurt.

The $60,000 yurt is a round, tent-like structure with a dome roof and plastic skin. Several more are threatened.


Firefighters were bracing for strong winds as they battled a blaze in western Montana that destroyed 14 homes and may have contributed to a man’s death.

The fire had burned nearly 7 square miles in Bitterroot National Forest. Residents of about 630 homes southwest of Hamilton were evacuated while another 215 homes were warned to be ready to leave.

Residents were allowed back into the burned area Monday, but it was closed again Tuesday due to expected high winds and low humidity.

Family members say a 64-year-old man died of a heart attack while trying to evacuate Sunday.


Firefighters expected dry, hot winds and the possibility of erratic flames in a series of wildfires that have charred almost 75 square miles of rangeland in northwest Nevada.

Officials predicted humidity in the single-digits in the Virginia Mountains with wind gusts up to 45 mph.

Containment of the fires was estimated at about 40 percent.

Residents in some rural areas have been told to prepare to evacuate quickly if necessary.

Pyramid Lake was closed.

A nearly 8-square-mile wildfire was burning in the scenic Poodle Mountain Wilderness Study Area, about 50 miles farther north.


Crater Lake National Park remained open as a wildfire grew to more than 400 acres.

The fire has led to the partial closure of the Pacific Crest Trail from Dutton Creek Camp to Red Cone Springs. Fire officials said West Rim Drive could be intermittently closed over the next couple of days.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation. Officials said it could have resulted from an escaped campfire.


A fast-moving fire in central Washington that started Tuesday afternoon has been brought under control with some homes and outbuildings lost.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday night the fire was still burning about 7 miles north of Moses Lake. Officials say they don’t yet know how many structures have burned or the amount of land.

Shelters have been set up for people and livestock from about two dozen evacuated residences.

Also on Tuesday, fire crews were making headway on a blaze that started Saturday night in south-central Washington on the U.S. Army’s Yakima Training Center.

The fire that has scorched about 276 square miles was up to 20 percent contained, from 10 percent Tuesday morning.

It’s the largest of several wildfires burning in Washington state


Evacuated residents were allowed to return to their homes northwest of Dubois as progress was made against a wildfire.

Firefighters have gained 50 percent containment of the fire that has burned about 22 square miles on private land and in Shoshone National Forest. The fire began July 11.

In Bridger-Teton National Forest, a fire that has burned about 46 square miles was 84 percent contained.

In southwest Wyoming, a fire that has burned about 2 square miles near the Utah border is now 36 percent contained. Residents of about 75 homes that had been evacuated last week were allowed to return.