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Western wildfires: Firefighters battle blazes in 4 states

Wildfires are tearing through some drought-stricken areas of the West. They include a massive blaze in a remote area and some smaller but dangerous fires. Here’s a look at the latest hotspots and what crews are doing to control them.



Air tankers and helicopters helped hundreds of firefighters battle a wildfire south of Lake Tahoe that has burned nearly 15 square miles of timber and grass. No structures have been damaged but the California mountain town of Markleeville remained on standby for possible evacuations.

About 500 personnel were expected to be on the fire lines about 20 miles west of the Nevada border by Tuesday.

The fire was sparked by lightning Friday, and it was partially contained Monday night after forcing the evacuation of some campgrounds. No one has been injured.



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 at 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.



Crews hustled to battle new wildfires that sparked in the state’s interior just as two large blazes are waning following a break in high temperatures.

Six structures, which could be anything from a shed to a home, were destroyed in a two-fire complex ignited by lightning about 20 miles southwest of Nenana. It covered nearly 9 square miles by Monday and led to the evacuation of about 20 people.

A small new fire, also caused by lightning, burned just outside the Yukon River village of Nulato.

Many of Alaska’s wildfires are caused by lightning, and this year, conditions are extra vulnerable because of a lack of winter snow in much of the state. Alaska was hit by almost 16,000 lightning strikes on Sunday alone, when 47 new fires broke out, officials say.

Alaska had 441 wildfires as of Monday, including 186 that are active over almost 179 square miles.



Crews worked to contain a wildfire south of the Succor Creek State Natural Area in eastern Oregon.

The Bureau of Land Management said Monday that the 175-acre blaze was spotted the night before by an aircraft returning from a wildfire in Idaho.

Its cause has not been determined, and there’s no estimate for when it might be contained.

Elsewhere, crews in southwest Oregon used a controlled burning operation to make progress on a nearly 8-square-mile fire that was partially contained Monday.



Helicopters helped battle a wildfire in rugged terrain in Olympic National Park in northwest Washington.

The U.S. Forest Service said 18 firefighters and two helicopters performing bucket water drops tried Monday to slow the progress of the blaze on the north side of the Queets River.

It had burned more than 400 acres, but officials said smoke hampered their effort to get an accurate measurement of its size.

No property or people were threatened because of the remote location of the fire, which began over the weekend, authorities said.

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