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7/23/2007

Western US Wildfire Races Onward

Utah, USA
July, 2007

SALT LAKE CITY: High temperatures and low humidity prevented firefighters from extinguishing a fire Saturday that threatened at least two dozen homes in a small town in central Utah.
Fire crews were waiting for more firefighters to arrive so they could work to extinguish the fire rather than just protect cabins, homes and trailers threatened by the 22-square-mile (57-square- kilometer) fire about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of the town of Indianola.
Temperatures were expected to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), and humidity was forecast to be about 10 percent Saturday in many areas where the Utah's 10 wildfires were burning.
The blaze began Thursday in a private campground in Salt Creek Canyon, 85 miles (137 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City. A motel and some vehicles and trailers were burned, the U.S. Forest Service said.
The fire had forced several evacuations and rescues along a 32-mile (51.5-kilometer) scenic road in the Uinta National Forest since Thursday.

HEATWAVE/WILDFIRES
Rome - Officials say forest and brush fires have engulfed parts of central and southern Italy amid searing temperatures, with firefighters battling about 1 500 blazes in the past 24 hours.
More than 8 000 firefighters, 1 700 firetrucks and 10 helicopters have been deployed along with 21 planes including 13 "scoopers" used to drop water on fires.
Forestry officials say nearly 7 000 hectares of brush and forest burned in Italy in the first two weeks of July.
A surge in fires in recent days has been blamed on a combination of high winds and soaring temperatures.
Eleven cities - including Rome, Venice, Naples and Palermo - are on "high alert" for heat-related health problems amid temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius in some places.
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