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BUSINESS
August 23, 2013 | By Lew Sichelman
Wildfires like the one this summer that killed 19 elite firefighters near Yarnell, Ariz., can't be stopped. But there's plenty homeowners can do to protect their properties. If you don't think you should take remedial action, think again. One-third of all houses are located in what fire safety officials call wild-land urban districts, which are near or among areas prone to wildfires. Worse, perhaps, wildfires have ravaged houses in three-fourths of the 50 states. And with more and more people choosing to live in rural areas closer to nature, the chances are greater than ever that someone you know - maybe even you - will lose a house to a fire.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
A wildfire raging out of control in the Stanislaus National Forest has forced authorities to close a major highway leading into Yosemite National Park, officials said Monday night. California 120 was closed from four miles east of Buck Meadows to four miles west of Groveland Ranger Station, the U.S. Forest Service said. The Rim fire had burned about 800 acres in rugged, steep terrain. Authorities with the Mariposa County Sheriff's Department were evacuating residents from campgrounds in the area, including Buck Meadows, fire officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
A lightning-sparked wildfire was raging out of control Monday evening in Kern County and had charred about 500 acres of brush and timber. Authorities issued voluntary evacuation warnings for about 400 homes as the Shirley fire burned in a popular recreation area in the Sequoia National Forest. The blaze was the largest of several fires ignited by lightning strikes Sunday night in the Kern River Valley in the southern Sierra Nevada, fire officials said.  Thunderstorms continued to rumble across the area and other parts of Southern California on Monday.
NATIONAL
August 18, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
As wildfires burn through several pockets of Idaho, the resort area near Sun Valley frequented by celebrities and the ultra-rich has become the latest front line, fire officials said. On Sunday, officials said more crews were being directed to the Beaver Creek fire in the central part of the state, which has grown to just over 100,000 acres with 9% containment. Authorities issued a red-flag warning of higher temperatures and gusty winds on Sunday, with more than 1,000 firefighters  at work on the ground and in the air beating back the blaze.
NATIONAL
August 17, 2013 | By Benjamin Mueller
An erratic, fast-moving wildfire raged through sagebrush and pine trees and threatened the Idaho mountain resort community of Sun Valley on Saturday as residents of 1,300 homes in the area were ordered to leave. Evacuation orders, which already included homes in drainages and foothills west of Hailey and north of Ketchum in central Idaho, were expected to spread Saturday to homes in the west Ketchum area, said Bronwyn Nickel, spokeswoman for Blaine County. Nickel said one home and one smaller structure had already been destroyed, and others were “definitely at risk.” The blaze burned across 92,754 acres Saturday, up dramatically from the 64,236 acres burning Friday, a spokeswoman for Beaver Creek Fire, Shawna Hartman, said.
NATIONAL
August 15, 2013 | By Benjamin Mueller
Eleven states across the West are suffering under brutal blazes as weather forecasters warned Thursday that more wildfires could break out soon. The National Weather Service signaled early Thursday that strong winds and dry conditions could fuel new outbreaks in Idaho, Utah and Hawaii. “Any fires are expected to exhibit extreme fire behavior,” it said. Any new wildfires would add to the 44 blazes already burning from Alaska to Arizona, five of which were first reported Wednesday, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
NATIONAL
August 14, 2013 | By Benjamin Mueller
A swift-moving wildfire sparked by lightning has destroyed 13 homes and threatens hundreds more near a Utah resort town where firefighters were working for a second day Wednesday to stem its advance. The fire, which erupted in the Lake Rockport Estates subdivision near Park City, had also claimed 20 other structures such as cabins and barns, as well as numerous cars and boats, spokeswoman Julie Booth said. She said an additional 250 structures were “currently compromised,” with firefighters battling to save them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 8, 2013 | By Christine Mai-Duc, Joseph Serna and Jason Wells
BANNING, Calif. - The photo flashed across a cellphone, frightening Kymberley Heighes. It showed her mountain home framed by a wall of dark smoke. The Silver fire was in its early stages Wednesday afternoon, burning more than 1,000 acres per hour - a speed that overwhelmed firefighters and residents such as Heighes, who lives in the sparsely populated mountain ranges south of Interstate 10 near Banning. "I knew it wasn't normal smoke, I knew it was bad," said Heighes, 50, describing her panic as she saw the photo while at a friend's home, then sped home with her 18-year-old son. Heighes arrived in time to see two of her other children being evacuated by a neighbor, and to save a few of her pets.
NEWS
August 1, 2013 | By Jay Jones
Most public lands and resorts in the mountains northwest of Las Vegas are welcoming visitors after a wildfire last month that forced widespread evacuations and fouled the air on the Strip. The Carpenter 1 blaze consumed more than 43 square miles of forest. Officials described it as a “mosaic” fire, meaning it burned in patches, often in remote, rugged terrain seldom accessed by day-trippers. Most of the pine-laced hiking trails and picnic areas in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area  were unscathed and have reopened.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 25, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
A wildfire in San Bernardino County had burned about 75 acres Thursday afternoon. The fire broke out around 3 p.m. near state Highway 138 northwest of Silverwood Lake in Hesperia, fire officials said. The fire was initially reported to be 10 acres but then quickly grew, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department. Firefighters, aided by at least one water-dropping helicopter, appeared to be holding the blaze at about 75 acres, the Fire Department said. "It's looking really good.
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