Dry weather across the western half of the country continues to spark wildfires, especially across Utah and the Northwest.
One of the newest fires is the Levan Fire along Highway 28 in Utah. After starting the afternoon of July 24, strong winds helped the fire to expand, quickly catching on the dry brush in the area.
As of early on Friday, July 25, about 1,000 acres had been engulfed and the blaze was not contained.
The rising smoke yesterday was visible for miles, allowing travelers on nearby I-15 to have a spectacular view.
@UtahWildfire Fire south of Levan as seen from I-15. pic.twitter.com/VbET3qrXXu— McKell Robbins (@mckellr) July 25, 2014
The Black Fire, also located in central Utah, started on the same day. Caused by lightning from a dry thunderstorm, nearly 100 acres were burnt as of Friday morning.
Not too far away, the Simpson Complex also continues to burn. Lightning ignited this blaze on July 20 and it had grown to 3,540 acres by the end of the week. This area is a combination of two fires, the Lion Peak and Sheep Fires.
Utah is not the only state to be stricken with wildfires this month. The Carlton Complex in north-central Washington began on July 14 and is four different fires that have merged into one. Burning timber, sage and grass, the wind blew the flames over ridge tops and it grew to more than 250,000 acres.
Wildfires burning tens of thousands of acres stretch across the western part of the country, including more in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona and Nevada.
The expanding drought across the southern and western parts of the United States this summer will continue to fuel wildfires. Without storm systems to moisten the ground, the dry grass and timber will continue to be easy tinder for wildfires. Even in the Northwest, afternoon highs reaching to the 80s and 90s through the weekend will help to dry things out even more farther north.