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Firefighters in western U.S. struggle to contain rash of wildfires

Aug. 21, 2013 at 4:59 PM

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Several hundred firefighters are fighting wildfires in the Yosemite area as firefighters in Idaho and Montana struggle with blazes of their own, officials say.

Some 700 firefighters, including California National Guardsmen, are working to contain the Rim Fire, one of 10 major wildfires in the state, KNTV, San Jose, reported Wednesday.

The Rim Fire, which started Saturday afternoon in the Stanislaus National Forest outside Yosemite National Park, has grown to 11,000 acres. A few structures have burned and 2,500 are threatened. No injuries have been reported.

Several camps in the area were evacuated Tuesday afternoon.

In Idaho, the 130,000-acre Elk Complex Fire was reported 75 percent contained Tuesday. As the fire comes under control, fire managers have opened roads and allowed residents back in, KTVB-TV, Boise, reported.

Lightning sparked the wildfire Aug. 8.

Firefighters battling the Lolo Creek Complex in Montana were primarily concerned with a forecast for "strong and shifting winds," fire information officer Cindy Super told The Missoulian.

Overnight Tuesday, there was "no more significant growth," she said, after the wildfire had dramatically increased to at least 8,000 acres earlier in the evening.

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