Firefighters make progress against Western U.S. wildfires

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 26, 2015 6:22 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - Firefighters made progress Sunday against three wildfires burning in Montana and California, aided by cooler temperatures overnight.

A blaze in the Sierra foothills near Lake Tahoe in California was burning rapidly toward the north despite calming overnight, and evacuation orders remained in place for several communities, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

Investigators do not yet know the cause of the blaze, dubbed the Lowell Fire, which started Saturday and prompted evacuation orders for the communities of You Bet, Red Dog, Lowell Hill and Chalk Bluff, the agency said.

By Sunday morning, it burned 1,500 acres and was five percent contained.

Southwest of Sacramento near California's storied wine country, the 6,900-acre Wragg Fire was 60 percent contained by Sunday morning, and evacuation orders had been lifted.

In Montana, a wildfire at Glacier National Park along the west side of St. Mary Lake was 20 percent contained on Sunday morning but was expected to continue to advance toward the east and northeast, according to the U.S. Forest Service's InciWeb online fire information center.

The so-called Reynolds Fire covered about 3,100 acres at mid-morning on Sunday, prompting the closure of an 18-mile section of Going-to-the-Sun Road in the park near the St. Mary Visitor Center, according to InciWeb.

However, officials said that a majority of the park was unaffected by the fire and remained open to the public.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)