Human caused Brian Head Fire spreads over 68,000 acres
Wednesday, July 5, 2017, 3:18 - Firefighters are beginning to gain an upper-hand on a fierce wildfire that has destroyed more than a dozen homes and forced the evacuation of 1,500 residents in southwestern Utah.
An army of firefighters managed to corral the flames enough to allow most residents back into their homes Monday and have officials reopen State Route 143 on Monday.
As of Wednesday (July 5) morning, the blaze was 75 percent contained, according to InciWeb. While that was significant progress compared to last week when it was just 10 percent contained, officials remained vigilant in their efforts as lack of rain and windy conditions continued to fan the flames east and northeast.
The fire erupted on June 17 near the ski resort of Brian Head, Utah, about 30 miles northeast of Zion National Park, and spread quickly as high winds drove flames into dense forests, threatening homes in nearby communities. As of Wednesday morning, the fire had burned through 68,407 acres.
The town of Brian Head ordered an evacuation of all residents, and the number of people forced from their dwellings throughout the fire zone has climbed to 1,500, according to U.S. Forest Service spokesman Andrew Jackson.
Local fire spokeswoman Elayn Briggs said at least 13 homes and eight outbuildings have been demolished since the blaze began but no serious injuries were reported.
The fire was ignited by human activity, but officials said they were still investigating the precise cause.
Below is a look at some of the fire impacts:
Watch below: Weather not helping with the fire fight