Fires in U.S. West threaten thousands of structures

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Fires burning in drought-parched California on Tuesday menaced thousands of structures as firefighters struggled to corral the blazes there and elsewhere in the U.S. West, authorities said.

The so-called Lowell Fire north of the state capital Sacramento has injured four of the 2,277 firefighters battling it, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire). One firefighter was hospitalized with serious burns, CalFire said.

Roughly a third of the 2,233-acre blaze was contained as of Tuesday morning, with low humidity and high heat expected throughout the day. Roads were closed and evacuation warnings were in place around the fire, which was threatening about 1,800 structures, CalFire said.

To the south, a 1,739-acre fire forced the evacuation of campgrounds in the Sierra National Forest and threatened some 450 structures, including homes and vacation cabins, according to the U.S. Forest Service's InciWeb online fire information center.

See photos from the fire in Glacier National Park:

13 PHOTOS
Fire in Glacier National Park
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Fires in U.S. West threaten thousands of structures
In this photo provided by Erin Conwell, taken Tuesday, July 21, 2015, smoke from the Reynolds Creek wildfire rises above the landscape at St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park, Mont. The fire burning in the drought-parched northwestern Montana park doubled in size Wednesday, leading officials to evacuate homes along St. Mary Lake and visitors to flee hotels and campgrounds in the nearby community at Glacier’s eastern entrance. (Erin Conwell via AP)
In this photo taken, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, smoke from the Reynolds Creek fire rises above the landscape at St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park, Mont. State Rep. Jenny Eck, who was hosting a delegation from Australia on a tour of the park, took this photo of the fast-moving wildfire. The flames torched a car and a historic cabin and forced tourists to abandon their vehicles on the park's most popular roadway while officials evacuated hotels, campgrounds and homes. (Jenny Eck via AP)
The Northern Lights made a surprise appearance last night over the fire that is burning in Glacier National Park, MT http://t.co/TC18mcpsjP
So, this pretty much sums up our day at Glacier National Park...
just finished packing my belongings and am ready to evacuate my house if need be. the fire was reported at 3:45 pm today and is already ~1,000 acres. #reynoldscreekfire #pleasedontburndownmyhouse
View of the Reynolds creek fire from leaving the belly river backcountry station today. Crazy hearing on the radio how quickly it spread. #glaciernps #Wildfires #GNP
View of @glaciernps fire that's burned about 1,000 acres. http://t.co/X9qR8MpIBD via @lightofdusk http://t.co/paPiZbm0VP
Thanks @Missoulian for sharing the #glaciernationalpark fire coverage. http://t.co/Dr8uZ4lFst
The Glacier National Park wildfire is forcing tourists to leave cars. http://t.co/UTIJRc6qJe http://t.co/csNMsSfQSi
Shot of massive fire burning in Glacier National Park: http://t.co/7ZDIy1tMWY
Fast-moving wildfire burns 1,000 acres of Glacier National Park http://t.co/5qF40NjTpA http://t.co/HYjaWg1YGD
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The so-called Willow Fire, north of the central California city of Fresno, was only 5 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, according to InciWeb.

Experts have predicted an unusually active and destructive wildfire season in California as the state grapples with a fourth year of crippling drought.

In northwestern Montana's Glacier National Park, firefighters managed to draw containment lines around roughly half of the 3,170-acre Reynolds Creek fire, according to InciWeb. Firefighters were aided overnight by cooler temperatures and rain in the area.

The blaze broke out last Tuesday, forcing the closure of campgrounds, a motor inn and several trails, as well as the picturesque Going-to-the-Sun Road that bisects the park, officials said.

Most of the park, which straddles the Canadian border, was unaffected by the fire and remained open to the public, according to officials.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Will Dunham)

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