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Huge wildfire plagues Utah

Posted at 6:57 AM, Jun 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-26 06:57:17-04

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (KSL/KUTV/CNN) - Parts of the West are ravaged by wildfires.

"We had a lot of calls from the public about what the fire is doing to the area, and it's still very, very active," said Erin Darboven, Fire Operations spokeswoman.

Among the states affected is Utah, where the Brian Head fire is located.

It's the largest active wildfire in the nation, scorching more than 42,000 acres thus far.

"It is heart wrenching. I get it. You know, there are cabins up there that are generations old," Sheriff Jim Perkins said.

Authorities say that fire was likely caused by a weed torch.

A number of communities in the area were forced to evacuate, including the entire town of Brian Head.

Residents there are keeping their fingers crossed.

"I just hope I can go back to rotten food in the freezer and the refrigerator stinks like all get out. It'd be nice if those things are still there to have to deal with," one person said.

More than 1,100 firefighters are in Utah with dozens of engines and helicopters.

Forecasters say thunderstorms are possible on Monday, and that could play a factor with the fires.

"We are looking at another change in the weather pattern, so a shift in winds, bringing some erratic winds with it, so tactics are changing accordingly," Darboven said.

Seventeen other fires are also being fought across Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon.

Copyright 2017 KUTV and KSL via CNN. All rights reserved.