Another Firefighter Dies Battling California Wildfire

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
August 14, 2018US News
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A firefighter died battling the largest recorded blaze in California history, authorities announced on Aug. 13, marking the latest fatality in a horror fire season.

Authorities say the man from Utah died on night or Aug. 13 at a hospital after he was injured at the site of the massive Mendocino Complex fire north of San Francisco.

Details haven’t been released.

Firefighters from all over the country have been helping California battle a series of deadly and devastating wildfires in recent weeks that have spread through drought-parched forests and rural communities.

Six firefighters have died in those wildfires.

The deadliest wildfire, the Carr Fire, has left a total of eight people dead, including three firefighters.

Two firefighters have died fighting a fire near Yosemite National Park.

The Mendocino Complex — actually twin fires being fought together — has burned for more than two weeks. The fire has burned nearly 150 homes and about 547 square miles of brush and forest. That’s an area larger than the city of Los Angeles.

Evacuations At Glacier National Park 

Across state lines, a wildfire destroyed structures and forced evacuations from the busiest area of Montana’s Glacier National Park on Aug. 13.

Glacier’s Sprague Creek campground was closed and evacuated, a day after a fast-moving fire triggered the evacuation of dozens of guests from the historic Lake McDonald Lodge late Aug. 12.

Park officials said in a statement that structures on the north end of Lake McDonald were lost, but they did not provide details on the number and type. The fire grew to between 2 and 4 square miles by Aug. 13 afternoon.

“It just completely exploded. Yesterday we were watching it grow all day, and now it’s so smoky you can’t see anything,” said Kyersten Siebenaler with Glacier Outfitters, which rents boats in Apgar, a small community at the south end of the lake.

The outfitting company was trying to help tourists who evacuated find places to stay on the east side of the park, where it was not as smoky, Siebenaler said.

A second campground, a motel and private residences inside the park’s boundary also were evacuated.

Triple-digit temperatures across parts of the state — paired with lightning from passing thunderstorms — set the stage for several new large fires to take hold in Montana in recent days.

Among them was a 3-square-mile fire that triggered an evacuation order for residents of 15 houses southwest of the town of Ennis, Montana. The fire was burning in challenging mountain terrain with a mix of pine, fir and spruce trees, said fire information spokesman Dave Sabo.

Yosemite Set To Re-Open

Yosemite National Park in California was scheduled to reopen Aug. 14 after being largely closed since July 25 because of smoke from fires in remote areas that choked the scenic Yosemite Valley.

The closure caused upheaval for thousands of tourists whose summer trips were cancelled. Visitors were warned to expect limited hours and services as the park returns to normal.

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