Western wildfires put the haze over Vail Valley | VailDaily.com

Western wildfires put the haze over Vail Valley

The Associated Press
Vail Valley, CO Colorado
Flames continue to burn on an out building that was destroyed by a fire that swept through the area in Auburn, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009. The fire broke out Sunday afternoon consuming 250 acres and destroying a unknown number of homes and businesses.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –Vail Valley residents Monday are noticing a distinct haze across the sky today, as well as the smell of smoke. It’s most likely due to the numerous fires burning across the West on Monday. Here’s a roundup:


– More than 500 homes north of Payson, about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix, were under evacuation orders Monday as crews worked to control a wildfire that had consumed more than 500 acres. The Gila County Sheriff’s office evacuated the Whispering Pines and Beaver Valley subdivisions and a campground. The fire was reported Sunday afternoon on Tonto National Forest land. No injuries had been reported.


– A massive fire in the Angeles National Forest nearly doubled in size overnight, threatening 12,000 homes Monday in a 20-mile-long swath of flame and smoke and surging toward a mountaintop broadcasting complex. The fire that burned at least 18 homes was moving north, south and east through the rugged foothills northeast of Los Angeles. Two firefighters were killed Sunday when they drove off a road on Mount Gleason near the city of Acton.

– Another 2,000 homes were threatened in San Bernardino County, and a mandatory evacuation was under way in Oak Glen, an unincorporated scenic community of apple orchards near Yucaipa and about 90 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. A 900-acre wildfire that began Sunday afternoon tripled in size overnight and was burning out of control in oak and conifer woodlands.

– A 3.8-square-mile blaze that began Thursday near the San Bernardino County town of Hemet was 95 percent contained and was expected to be fully surrounded Monday evening.

– Northeast of Sacramento, a fire that began Sunday afternoon destroyed 60 structures, many of them homes in the town of Auburn, with an entire cul-de-sac wiped out. The fire had blackened 275 acres amid high winds and reportedly was 50 percent contained Sunday night. The governor declared a state of emergency in the Sierra foothills area.

– In Mariposa County, a nearly 7-square-mile fire in Yosemite National Park forced the evacuation of about 50 homes. The blaze was reported to be 50 percent contained Sunday. Two people suffered minor injuries.


– Firefighters on Monday were mopping up the nearly 2-square-mile Microwave fire that threatened Mosier over the weekend. Three homes and a barn were lost to the blaze, which has cost an estimated $1.7 million to fight and was reportedly 75 percent contained.

– A wildfire that was reported Sunday afternoon in the Tonto National Forest north of Payson has grown to 500 acres. The Gila County Sheriff’s office has been evacuating a campground and two subdivisions. An aerial assault using two heavy air tankers and a helicopter was planned Monday. No injuries were reported.


– In New Harmony, authorities lifted an evacuation advisory, but residents were put on a one-hour notice to leave again if the fire picks up later in the day. The lightning-caused Mill Flat fire had been burning in the Pine Valley wilderness area for more than a month before it flared up over the weekend. The fire has blackened 15 square miles and destroyed three houses and eight outbuildings.


– Firefighters expect the blaze that destroyed a large hay warehouse in Moses Lake to smolder for days. No injuries have been reported. The Columbia Basin Herald reports about 60 firefighters were at the scene.

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