Southern Utah wildfire grows, additional evacuations ordered

The blaze was ignited a week ago on June 17 by someone using a torch to burn weeds

Officers stop cars heading in Panguitch, Utah, heading to Panguitch Lake on highway 143 as the fire approaches, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A southern Utah wildfire grew again overnight, forcing additional evacuations.

Fire officials said Saturday that it had charred about 58.7 square miles (152 square kilometers) near the town of Brian Head.

It’s 5 percent contained and has destroyed at least 13 homes.

High winds and hot weather continue to intensify the fire but conditions are expected to improve Sunday before winds return Monday.

Hundreds have been subjected to evacuation orders in nearby alpine communities that are generally known for second homes as a weekend getaway for Las Vegas residents.

Officials said firefighters are trying to fully extinguish hot spots in the southwest corner in order to allow Brian Head residents to return.

The blaze was ignited a week ago on June 17 by someone using a torch to burn weeds.

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