Wildfires Hit Western U.S.

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Release date: 
July 24, 2000
Release Number: 
HQ-00-102

Hot weather and wind were making it difficult for firefighters to battle a blaze that was threatening homes in the Monterey County portion of the Los Padres National Forest. The fire, which began Saturday around 10:00 p.m. EDT, has grown to almost 1,500 acres and is endangering approximately 25 homes.

  • There were between 350 and 400 firefighters battling the blaze, and that number is expected to increase before the fire is contained.


  • An additional 3,000-acre fire burned into its second day Sunday, as firefighters worked in 120-degree heat in the Death Valley canyon to contain the flames.


  • The blaze began around 6:00 p.m. EDT, Saturday, about 20 miles north of the small desert community of Trona; by Sunday afternoon it raged out of control.


  • About 300 firefighters were on scene, including a helicopter and air tanker.


Colorado wildfires

  • The fire in the Mesa Verde National Park nearly tripled in size in 24 hours, burning 17,000 acres by Sunday night. The fire started Thursday apparently from a lightning strike.


  • Indian dwellings from one hundred years ago have been discovered in the cliffs as the wildfire has uncovered at least a dozen sites.


  • Air tankers and helicopters continued to attack the flames to the south. About 500 firefighters were on the scene trying to keep the flames from spreading toward houses east and north of the fire.


  • The area was covered for miles by juniper, pinion and oak brush. Firefighters were not sent to the southern flank because it was too dangerous. The fire was 15 percent contained as of yesterday.


  • Meanwhile, another fire broke out Saturday in and near the newly created Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, about 25 miles northwest of Mesa Verde, and had scorched 600 acres by Sunday, threatening six homes.


  • Several air tankers and about 60 firefighters from the Mesa Verde blaze helped battle those flames.


Montana wildfires

  • The fire closest to Helena, in the Spokane Hills region, began about 10:30 p.m. EDT, and moved eastward on the heels of gusty west winds. Some residents were evacuated.


  • Air tankers were called in from Missoula and Kalispell, and road graders and water trucks were being pressed into service, along with all available help from area fire districts.


  • More than a dozen new lightning-caused fires were reported in western Montana. In the Bitterroot National Forest, 10 new fires burned west and southwest of Sula.


  • In the Seeley Lake area, late Sunday afternoon winds pushed the 200-acre Upper Monture fire to 840 acres. It was moving towards the Bob Marshall Wilderness area.


Fire Suppression Assistance Grant approved for Washington wildfires

  • This Fire Suppression Assistance Grant request was approved for the Rocky Hull Fire on July 22. The fire is located in Okanogan County near the town of Oroville and has burned approximately 5,000 acres and threatened 60-80 homes.


  • Air tankers dropped retardant on the Rocky Hull fire on Sunday afternoon, but the fire continued to spread towards the southeast.


  • The Rocky Hull fire destroyed six homes late Saturday. The fire was about seven miles long and up to two miles wide. There were evacuations from homes that were in the path of the fire. About 550 firefighters were batt...
Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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