Fires

The Latest: Evacuations ordered for fire on California coast

The Latest on a major wildfire burning in Utah and others burning across the U.S. West. (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

A wildfire surging out of control on California's Central Coast has forced evacuations.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the blaze broke out late Monday afternoon and within just a few hours had grown to about 500 acres (200 hectares).

The evacuation order is for a string of homes along about five sparsely populated rural roads in and around the small town of Santa Margarita about 10 miles (16 km) north of the much larger city of San Luis Obispo.

Fire crews were driving through the evacuation areas, making sure no one is stranded and trying to get out.

Officials couldn't immediately say how many homes or people are affected by the evacuation order.

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9:49 a.m.

Firefighters are bracing for strong winds as they fight a southern Utah wildfire that's forced more than 1,500 people from homes and cabins.

Authorities said Monday they're ordering more evacuations at the fire that has torched more than 67 square miles (174 square kilometers) and cost more than $7 million to fight. Officials have said the blaze near the ski town of Brian Head was sparked June 17 by a weed-burning torch.

Crews in California, meanwhile, are allowing people back to their homes near Santa Clarita as traffic starts moving again on a Los Angeles County freeway. It closed after a weekend car crash sparked a smoky fire in dry conditions.

That blaze consumed nearly 1.4 square miles (3.6 square kilometers) of brush and closed State Route 14.