Unpredictable winds and high temperatures challenged crews in their battle Saturday against a Utah wildfire that forced more than 2,300 people to flee their homes.
Firefighters were posted around neighborhoods in Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain, about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City, after the blaze burned within a quarter mile of some homes Friday, said Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Teresa Rigby.
The evacuation order affected nearly 600 homes and more than 2,300 residents. They were allowed to return to their homes late Saturday after officials determined the blaze no longer posed a threat to them. Fire officials said they were comfortable with the decision after seeing how the 9-square-mile blaze behaved Saturday afternoon during high winds and high temperatures.
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- In Colorado, firefighters gave up some ground to a wildfire that has scorched more than 118 square miles and destroyed at least 191 homes west of Fort Collins. Crews stationed near threatened homes Friday had to retreat for their safety, and the fire's containment slipped from 60 percent to 45 percent. Authorities issued nearly 1,000 evacuation notices Friday night, some of which went to residents who had returned home two days earlier.
- In Nevada, a wildfire that has scorched more than 11,000 acres of rugged terrain in northeast Nevada near the Utah line is 75 percent contained. It began as a U.S. Forest Service prescribed burn that escaped June 9.
- In New Mexico, a lightning-caused wildfire that destroyed 242 homes and businesses is 90 percent contained after crews got a break in the weather.