Wildfire near Utah ski resort forces 1,500 people from homes

(Reuters) - A wildfire in Utah burning across almost 50,000 acres with 100-foot flames has forced the evacuation of more than 1,500 people, fire department officials said on Tuesday.

The blaze near the ski resort of Brian Head, about 245 miles south of Salt Lake City, was only 10 percent contained, Brian Head Fire spokeswoman Elayn Briggs said.

The fire, which began on June 17, was fanned by high winds and quickly spread through dense timber wood, threatening homes in more than 10 communities.

Brian Head posted an evacuation notice on its website for all residents until further notice and said Highway 143 was closed.

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Brian Head Fire in Utah
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Brian Head Fire in Utah
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: A wildfire burned up to the the edge of a home but left it standing on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
An aerial photo of wildfires burning across almost 50,000 acres near the ski resort of Brian Head, about 245 miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah is shown in this handout photo provided June 27, 2017. Courtesy Lt. Governor Spencer J Cox/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: Fighters prepare to move into the woods to fight a wildfire that is burning on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: Fighters move into the woods to fight a wildfire that is burning on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: Fighters move into the woods to fight a wildfire that is burning on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
An aerial photo of wildfires burning across almost 50,000 acres near the ski resort of Brian Head, about 245 miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah is shown in this handout photo provided June 27, 2017. Courtesy Lt. Governor Spencer J Cox/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: Cabins in the Mammoth subdivision sits empty as a wildfire moves toward the evacuated community on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: A cabin in the Mammoth subdivision sits empty as a wildfire moves toward the evacuated community on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: A helicopter moves out of the smoke after a water drop on a wildfire that is burning on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: A cabin in the Mammoth subdivision sits empty as a wildfire in the background moves toward the evacuated community on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: A barbecue sits under a tin roof in the remains of a house after a wildfire moved through the area on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: A wildfire burns through trees and ground cover on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: Wood timbers still smolder after after a wildfire moved through the area and burned this house to the ground on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: Green grass on the left and ashes on the right show the effects of a wildfire that moved through the area on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: Burned trees fill a smoke filled valley as far as they eye can see after a wildfire moved through the area on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: A firefighter stands watch over his crew for flareups as they work a wildfire that is burning in the area on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: A wildfire burns through trees on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: A fire coordinator talks on the radio at the Panguitch Lake headquarters on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: A burnt fence is all that is left of a house after a wildfire moved through the area on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: Two boats are anchored off shore as smoke from a wildfire fills the air over Panguitch Lake on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 24: A wild deer looks for food after brush and trees were burned from a wildfire above Panguitch Lake on June 24, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 33,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 24th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: A flare still burns after being left by firefighters to start a back fire on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 25: A wildfire burns through trees and ground cover on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 43,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 25th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 24: Trees are scorched from a wildfire above Panguitch Lake on June 24, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 33,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 24th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 24: Thick smoke moves over Panguitch Lake as a wildfire burns out of control on June 24, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 33,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 24th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PANGUITCH, UT - JUNE 24: A Utah highway patrolman turns cars around that were trying to head up to Panguitch Lake where a wildfire is burning on June 24, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. The fire named the 'Brian Head Fire' started last week and has burned more then 33,000 acres and destroyed 13 homes as of June 24th. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
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The Utah Division of Forestry Fire State Lands said on Tuesday on its website that the fire had burned onto the Dixie National Forest, leading to parts of it being closed.

It said the Department of Transportation and local utility companies were assessing damage to roads and utilities and making repairs in anticipation of residents returning to Brian Head in the near future.

Wildfires have forced evacuations in several states. In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency on Friday as more than 20 wildfires burned in the state. The largest, the so-called Frye Fire, was sparked by lightening on June 7 and was estimated on Tuesday to cover nearly 40,0000 acres near Mount Graham.

Firefighters in Southern California battled a fast-moving wildfire on Sunday that closed a highway and forced residents from their homes around Santa Clarita, a city north of Los Angeles, authorities said.

(Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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