More evacuations in wildfire near Utah ski resort town

Panguitch, Utah (KUTV via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Firefighters are bracing for strong winds as they fight a southern Utah wildfire that’s forced more than 1,500 people from homes and cabins.

Authorities said Monday they’re ordering more evacuations at the fire that has torched more than 67 square miles (174 square kilometers) and cost more than $7 million to fight.

Officials have said the blaze near the ski town of Brian Head was sparked June 17 by a weed-burning torch.

Crews in California, meanwhile, are allowing people back to their homes near Santa Clarita as traffic starts moving again on a Los Angeles County freeway. It closed after a weekend car crash sparked a smoky fire in dry conditions.

That blaze consumed nearly 1.4 square miles (3.6 square kilometers) of brush and closed State Route 14.