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Western wildfires: Crews try to wrangle blazes in 4 states

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Wildfires are sweeping through several dry Western states, including a massive blaze burning out of control in Northern California. A look at the latest hotspots and what crews are doing to control them:


A wildfire has grown to 26 square miles in hazardous and inaccessible terrain south of Lake Tahoe and is moving closer to structures, officials said.

No buildings have been damaged, but the mountain town of Markleeville remained on standby Wednesday for possible evacuations, according to the Bureau of Land Management. Several campgrounds have been evacuated, and two highways have been closed.

The fire, ignited by lightning Friday, was not at all contained Wednesday.

Air tankers and helicopters helped hundreds of firefighters battle the blaze about 20 miles west of the Nevada border. One firefighter received a heat-related injury Tuesday.

Strong erratic winds and severe drought conditions have stoked the fire, and smoke can be seen as far away as Carson City, Nevada.


Crews relied on retardant-dropping aircraft to battle a huge forest fire that has been burning for a week in an inaccessible area of the San Bernardino Mountains.

The blaze about 90 miles east of Los Angeles was partially contained after burning nearly 30 square miles of old-growth timber. Smoke wafted more than 200 miles northeast, prompting a health advisory in the Las Vegas area for those with respiratory problems.

No buildings have been lost, but several hundred people were forced to leave camps and vacation homes.

Another blaze near Santa Margarita in central California was mostly contained after burning two homes, four mobile homes and two recreational vehicles that people lived in.

The fire charred less than 3 square miles of dry brush, along with 10 other buildings. Crews hoped to have it fully surrounded in the next few days.


Burgeoning wildfires have led to more evacuations in Alaska's parched interior, with an international mushing champion evacuating his dogs from one of two communities where residents voluntarily fled their homes.

Fire managers say some residents on Tuesday left the Athabascan village of Tanana and the remote community of Eureka. More than 250 fires are burning hundreds of square miles in Alaska.

The fire near Eureka forced Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race champion Brent Sass to evacuate his dogs to Fairbanks, news station KTUU reported.

An area just north of Fairbanks also faced an evacuation advisory. Fairbanks, the interior's largest city, has been smoky because of fires in the region.


A wildfire scorching a remote part of southwestern Oregon has grown to nearly 8 square miles, but hundreds of firefighters have worked to get it nearly halfway contained.

Incident commander Doug Johnson said fire lines will be tested in the coming days by a heat wave expected to bring triple-digit temperatures to the region.

The lightning-sparked blaze started June 11 and is burning in the Rogue-River Siskiyou National Forest.


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

Fire managers said Tuesday that the blaze in a wilderness area has spread north into high mountains and rugged terrain. No properties are threatened by the 800-acre blaze ignited by lightning in late May. It smoldered and wasn't detected until June 14.

A federal team is being organized to respond to the fire about 13 miles north of Quinault.