Western wildfires: Firefighters battle blazes in four states

Western wildfires: Firefighters battle blazes in 4 states
This outbuilding on Las Pilitas Road is one of several structures destroyed in the Park Hill Fire in San Luis Obispo County on California's Central Coast, seen Sunday, June 21, 2015. The blaze near Santa Margarita, just northeast of San Luis Obispo, grew to about 2.8 square miles. Helicopters were taking water from nearby Santa Margarita Lake to dump on the blaze. Summer arrived in California on Sunday with fire season in full swing, as crews knocked down dozens of small blazes throughout the state. (David Middlecamp/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo) via AP)

Wildfires are tearing through some hot, drought-stricken areas of the West, including a massive blaze in Northern California. A look at the latest hotspots and what crews are doing to control them:

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NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

A wildfire that has grown to more than 25 square miles and is burning in hazardous and inaccessible terrain and approaching an increasing number of structures and affecting travel corridors, officials said.

No structures have been damaged, but the California mountain town of Markleeville remained on standby for possible evacuations, said the Bureau of Land Management, which is monitoring the fire. Several campgrounds along a highway have been evacuated and Highways 4 and 89 in the Monitor Pass area have been closed, authorities said.

Air tankers and helicopters helped hundreds of firefighters battle a wildfire south of Lake Tahoe that grown to more than 25 square miles.

One had a heat-related injury but was treated and is recovering.

Strong erratic winds and severe drought conditions have stoked the fire that was ignited by lightning Friday. About 500 personnel battled the blaze about 20 miles west of the Nevada border.

Smoke from the fire is dispersing as far as Carson City, Nevada.

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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Cooler weather helped crews make progress against a huge forest fire in a remote area of the San Bernardino Mountains.

The fire about 90 miles east of Los Angeles was partially contained and holding steady about 27 square miles as firefighters attacked the flames with a fleet of water-dropping aircraft.

About 500 buildings, including old cabins, had been threatened, but none was lost. The flames forced several hundred people to leave camps and vacation homes.

Another blaze near Santa Margarita in central California burned two homes, four mobile homes and two recreational vehicles that people lived in. The fire burned less than 3 square miles, along with 10 other buildings, seven vehicles, a boat and a trailer. It was mostly contained.

Western wildfires: Firefighters battle blazes in 4 states
In this June 17, 2015 photo from the Alaska Army National Guard, trees erupt in flames in the Stetson Creek Fire near Cooper Landing, Alaska. Crews have wrangled two large wildfires north and south of Anchorage as dozens of blazes burn over 100 square miles in Alaska. One fire forced the evacuation of campsites on the Kenai Peninsula and destroyed at least eight structures since Monday. (Sgt. Balinda O'Neal/U.S. Army National Guard via AP)

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ALASKA

Intensifying wildfires in Alaska have led to evacuations in several parts of the state, including a tiny village where residents fled on boats.

A firefighter on one blaze was treated for minor injuries from a bear bite after he encountered the animal while working a fire, fire managers said.

A small fire grew to more than a square mile in size just outside the Yukon River village of Nulato, prompting evacuations Monday evening from the Athabascan community of 250 people.

Other wildfires have prompted of residents in threatened rural areas. They include a two-fire complex southwest of Nenana that has burned 12 square miles and other fires near the eastern Alaska community of Eureka and just north of Fairbanks.

Fire managers say they have requested additional crews to augment crews stretched thin in Alaska, where some wildfires far from populated areas are monitored rather than suppressed.

A firefighter working the Juneau Lake fire was bitten by a bear on a remote trail in the Chugach National Park on Monday night. Fire information spokeswoman Elayn Briggs says the firefighter was treated minor injuries at an Anchorage hospital, where he was flown after the encounter.

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OREGON

A wildfire scorching a remote part of southwestern Oregon has grown to 5,000 acres, but containment improved to almost 50 percent.

Crews along the southwest edge of the fire will spend Tuesday completing interior burnout operations. Helicopters will support the effort with bucket drops, said incident commander Doug Johnson.

Western wildfires: Firefighters battle blazes in 4 states
In this June 17, 2015 photo from the Alaska Army National Guard, a "Bambi Bucket," hanging from a helicopter releases hundreds of gallons of water onto the Stetson Creek Fire near Cooper Landing, Alaska. Crews have wrangled two large wildfires north and south of Anchorage as dozens of blazes burn about 160 square miles in Alaska. One fire forced the evacuation of campsites on the Kenai Peninsula and destroyed at least eight structures since Monday. Altogether, 49 active fires are burning in three western states. (Sgt. Balinda O'Neal/U.S. Army National Guard via AP)

Johnson said fire lines will be tested in the coming days by a heatwave expected to bring triple-digit temperatures to the region.

The lightning-sparked blaze started June 11. It's burning 10 miles from Cave Junction on the Rogue-River Siskiyou National Forest.

Almost 500 people are working on the fire.

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WASHINGTON

A wildfire burning in a remote area of Olympic National Park in Washington state has scorched more than 1 square mile.

Western wildfires: Firefighters battle blazes in 4 states
In this June 17, 2015 photo from the Alaska Army National Guard, a "Bambi Bucket," hanging from an ANG Black Hawk helicopter releases hundreds of gallons of water onto the Stetson Creek Fire near Cooper Landing, Alaska. Crews have wrangled two large wildfires north and south of Anchorage as dozens of blazes burn about 160 square miles in Alaska. One fire forced the evacuation of campsites on the Kenai Peninsula and destroyed at least eight structures since Monday. Altogether, 49 active fires are burning in three western states.(Sgt. Balinda O'Neal/U.S. Army National Guard via AP)

Fire managers said Tuesday that the blaze, which is burning in a wilderness area about 13 miles north of Quinault, continues to spread north and northeast into high mountains and rugged terrain.

Fire managers who surveyed the by air Monday night mapped its size at nearly 800 acres. No properties are currently threatened.

A federal team is being organized to respond.

Park officials say the fire was caused by a lightning strike in late May. It smoldered and wasn't detected until June 14.

The is more than 12 miles from the Queets River trailhead.


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NASA image: Lake fire and San Gorgonio fire in California

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