Utah officials blame lack of logging for major wildfire

California fire officials issued evacuation warnings for some residents in Riverside County on Monday night after a auto crash ignited a 5,000-acre brush fire in a remote area located about 80 miles east of Los Angeles. Investigators said they know who the culprit is, but they have not yet released the person's identity or what charges will be levelled.

About 175 people have been briefly allowed back to their homes near Panguitch Lake since Sunday under escort, said Denise Dastrup, from the Garfield County Sheriff's Office.

"A significant area of thin density smoke attributed to a number of wildfires over the Western and Southwestern United States could be seen this morning stretching from Wyoming southward over a good portion of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico". Wilder said they're hopeful but realistic.

On California's Central Coast, evacuation orders remain in place for sparsely populated rural areas of San Luis Obispo County east of the town of Santa Margarita due to a almost 2-square-mile (5 sq. kilometer) fire.

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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.

"Things change day to day", Mr Wilder said.

The Utah fire is the largest in the nation at 78 square miles (201 square kilometers). Crews were expected to strengthen the containment line on the south end of the fire.

The Arizona wildfire charred more than 28 square miles (73 square kilometers) and forced the evacuation of the town of Mayer and other areas as a precaution.

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Two people were taken to the hospital with unknown injuries in connection to the accident, according to officials.

State Sen. Evan Vickers (R-Cedar City) said the Brian Head fire has caused anxiety locally because of the lost cabins and lost memories, as well as the safety of firefighters like his son-in-law. An evacuation order is in place for the area around the small town of Santa Margarita about 10 miles north of the city of San Luis Obispo.

The Brian Head Fire is one of several wildfires affecting the U.S. Southwest: the Goodwin Fire in Arizona's Prescott National Forest has burned more than 18,000 acres; the Frye Fire in Arizona's Coronado National Forest has burned more than 38,500 acres; the Cole Creek Fire in Nevada has burned more than 4,500 acres; and the Holcomb Fire in California's San Bernardino National Forest has burned more than, 1500 acres. Another drone was spotted on Sunday, and it, too, halted aerial firefighting efforts.

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