East Fork fire intensity downgraded, firefighters still monitoring

Firefighters Battle Blazes in California and Utah

The fire is also threatening several residential communities, spurring the evacuation of at least 15 hundred people, according to The Arizona Republic.

Many residents have painful memories of the 2013 wildfire that killed 19 members of an elite firefighting crew.

Authorities say the lightning-sparked blaze expanded Thursday but is now 40 percent contained.

Law enforcement responded to the area and is investigating the incident.

The nation's largest wildfire has forced more than 1,500 people from their homes and cabins in a southern Utah mountain area home to a ski town and popular fishing lake.

On Friday, a day before the Goodwin Fire ignited, Ducey had already declared a state of emergency to help with fire suppression after more than a dozen fires were sparked since April, "aided by high temperatures, winds, and available fuels".

Thousands had been told to evacuate ahead of the blaze, including Mayer and parts of Dewey-Humboldt.

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.

Late last night the fire entered the city of Panguich's watershed.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey released a statement saying the Goodwin Fire was the state's "top priority".

Low humidity, temperatures hovering around 90 Fahrenheit and 35 miles per hour (55 kph) wind gusts are in the forecast through the weekend and may "contribute to extreme fire behavior", the National Weather Service said in an advisory.

A 400-acre (162-hectare) fire in Mariposa County on the western Sierra foothills is 10 per cent surrounded. "Fires burning in deep duff and tundra require significant amounts of rain to put them completely out".

In Los Angeles County, fires that flared dangerously close to Hollywood Hills and Burbank homes have been knocked down.

Prescott Valley Mayor Harvey Skoog Wednesday morning signed an emergency declaration offering the Town's assistance to surrounding communities affected by the Goodwin Fire.

More than 600 Arizona firefighters are bracing for persistent windy conditions as they battle a northern Arizona fire that has charred 32 square miles (83 square kilometres ) of dense shrubbery.

2012 was the third worst year for wildfires, with 9.2 million acres (37231.1 square km) burned, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. "So please understand that while we send firefighters into hard places, there are places we will not go".

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