Wildfires burn in 7 Western states, prompt evacuations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wildfires burn in 7 Western states, prompt evacuations

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(AP) -
   Higher humidity and lower temperatures on Monday helped firefighters battle a destructive fire that has scorched more than 63 square miles near the scenic Big Sur coast, while firefighters in Central California faced blistering heat as they worked to contain a blaze that burned rural homes and forced hundreds of evacuations near the small Fresno County town of Prather.
   A layer of ocean air that arrived in the mountainous Big Sur region was credited for the better firefighting conditions in an area where a fire that started July 22 has destroyed 57 homes and 11 outbuildings and is threatening 2,000 more structures. A bulldozer operator working for the firefighting operation died in an accident last week.
   The blaze near Prather damaged an undetermined number of 400 evacuated homes just outside the Sierra National Forest, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.
   That fire started Saturday and by Monday had grown to nearly 3 square miles with just 15 percent of it cut off by firefighters from burning further.
   Just north of Los Angeles, a 65-square-mile wildfire in wilderness just north of Los Angeles was almost fully contained and only active with isolated pockets of vegetation burning within a perimeter firefighters established to prevent it from burning outside the zone. A man who refused to evacuate from a home was killed and the fire also prompted the evacuation of about 20,000 people.
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