Illegal immigrant arrested for 78-square-mile Colorado fire

Two cars destroyed by wildfire at a home in Spring Valley California. As of Wednesday the Pawnee Fire had scorched mor

Quickly changing his story, he then said he didn't know how the fire started, according to arrest papers obtained Monday.

But all major highways in the area are open Monday.

Curry says the blaze about 80 miles (129 kilometers) southeast of Salt Lake City started Sunday and officials believe it was human-caused but are investigating. With more people living in harm's way and the costs of fire suppression spiraling up, it's hard to ignore the fact that the vast majority of wildfires are human-caused.

KTVZ-TV reports a smoldering fire near the former Warm Springs wood mill sparked a fire in high winds Monday afternoon that also shut down Highway 26 near the Deschutes River.

No historic sites or cultural landmarks are now threatened by the fire.

A Red Flag Warning is in place between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. Friday, Hornbaker said.

It is threatening 100 buildings and has forced evacuations.

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The California blaze was just 3 per cent contained, Lauderbale.

Although smoke and ash from the County Fire affected air quality in the Bay Area on Sunday, a thick marine layer of cool, moist air protected Bay Area residents Monday from harmful effects of the smoke from fires burning in Yolo, Lake and Napa counties.

Julie Malingowski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said weather conditions this week will continue to be hot and dry, creating continued risk of fire danger and fire spread.

Amid the flurry of evacuations in the Forbes Park area, Costilla County deputies were busy interviewing a man who first reported the Spring Fire last week.

The hot, windy conditions fuelling the fire and others across the West were expected to persist through the end of July in Utah and parts of California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, U.S. fire officials said.

Wildfires have burned through almost one million hectares in the United States this year as of June 29 - well above the average, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. In comparison, a deadly wildfire that destroyed whole neighbourhoods in Sonoma County previous year burned 57 square miles (147 square kilometres).

"The potential for growth remains high as crews battle the fire in hard terrain", Cal Fire said in an advisory, noting that more than 2,000 firefighters were tackling the blaze.

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