The nation’s largest active fire is raging across Southern Utah near the ski resort town of Brian Head.
The blaze, which began on June 17 initially burned around 1,000 acres but has since grown to 49,000 acres according to Utah fire and emergency officials.
Hundreds of firefighter crews are battling 100-foot flames in some areas as winds from the southwest reached 30 miles per hour. About ten percent of the blaze has been contained so far. 13 homes have been destroyed.
Brian Head is a popular destination for Las Vegas locals for skiing and summer hiking with around 1,500 people evacuated so far.
Resort officials are hoping for a reprieve to carry on with Fourth of July Festivities. On the resort’s website, Burke Wilkerson, the Resort's Vice President and General Manager said that "most of the fire activity has occurred in the areas outside and north of Town, and due to the extraordinary efforts of fire fighters, Brian Head Resort, the Town of Brian Head and other local businesses have been unaffected by the fire. None of Brian Head Resort's land or infrastructure have been burned or otherwise damaged."
Utah fire officials have since announced an effort with interagency partners to help spread awareness on the impact human-caused fires can have. In a press release, the Wildland Fire Prevention and Education team says, “preliminary statistics to date for wildfire occurrence in Utah indicate human activities are responsible for approximately 91 percent of wildfires in 2017 which have burned approximately 73,000 acres.”
No injuries or fatalities have been reported, a sign that people in the area are following evacuation notices. High winds and intense dry temperatures are making it more likely that officials will see extreme fire behavior in the days ahead.
Andrew Craft is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in Las Vegas, Nevada . Follow him on twitter: @AndrewCraft