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Soberanes Fire: Unattended, Illegal Campfire Started the Blaze

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A deadly wildfire that has been spreading for two weeks near California's scenic Big Sur was started by an illegal camp fire in Garapata State Park

Authorities are considering what potential penalties face those who set an illegal campfire that ballooned into a massive wildfire near the scenic Big Sur region of California.

Fire investigators determined an unattended campfire started the blaze July 22 in Garapata Park.

The biggest remaining, the Tule fire, has burned 47 square miles and was estimated to be 35 percent contained.

The fire started on Sunday about 5 miles southwest of Hamilton and destroyed 14 homes along with dozens of outbuildings and some vehicles. It was 25 percent contained.

All California State Parks from Point Lobos State Natural Reserve through Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park are closed until further notice.

In California's Central Valley, crews got a bit more control over a stubborn wildfire that has destroyed three homes and is threatening another 400 northeast of Fresno.

Authorities said firefighters increased containment to 60 percent.

Fire officials say some structures have been lost, but they are still working to determine how many and what type.

The blaze has charred more than 6 square miles since igniting Tuesday afternoon.

Sheriff's Office said the Grant County International Airport terminal will be open to fire evacuees.

More than 1,400 firefighters were battling a blaze in rugged terrain in southwest Idaho that grew to 66 square miles and has destroyed a popular, state-operated backcountry yurt.

Hot, dry temperatures often combined with winds have made firefighting conditions hard, destroying homes and forcing evacuations.

Investigators determined the blaze that has charred charred more than 69 square miles and destroyed 57 homes was started July 22 in a camping area of Garapata Park and left unattended. Firefighters try and control the fire in the state park
Soberanes Fire: Unattended, Illegal Campfire Started the Blaze

In Bridger-Teton National Forest, a fire that has burned about 46 square miles was 84 percent contained.

Officials are reporting progress containing two large wildfires pushed by dry winds through remote rangeland and rugged canyons in northwestern Nevada.

The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe town of Sutcliffe is no longer threatened, but residents in some rural areas have been told to prepare to evacuate quickly if necessary.

Just north of Los Angeles, a 65-square-mile wildfire in wilderness just north of Los Angeles was nearly fully contained and only active with isolated pockets of vegetation burning within a fire lines.

Fire spokeswoman Lucinda Nolan said crews are trying to keep the fire east of Pacific Crest Trail and west of Crater Lake Rim Drive.

PG&E crews have begun repairing power lines and poles that were damaged in the fire, starting in Carmel-by-the Sea, utility officials said. The cause is being investigated.

Fire information officer Mike Cole said the blaze in the Bitterroot National Forest had burned almost 7 square miles by early Tuesday.

A wildfire north of scenic Big Sur near California's Central Coast spread again overnight and has now charred more than 67 square miles.

Firefighters say about 30 homes in Utah have been evacuated after a small wildfire ignited near a neighborhood backing up to a mountainside.

In neighboring Bridger-Teton National Forest, a fire that has burned about 45 square miles was 81 percent contained.

Northwest of Dubois, a 21-square-mile blaze was 40 percent surrounded and some residents who evacuated seasonal homes were allowed to return.

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