Wildfire surges into wilderness
LOS OLIVOS — Crews battling a six-week-old wildfire lost ground overnight as it surged across about 13 square miles of arid brush, officials said yesterday.
The fire’s push into a densely forested wilderness area brought the total area blackened to about 148 square miles. It was expected to continue growing with triple-digit temperatures and low humidity predicted throughout the week, fire spokesman Joe Pasinato said.
The blaze was just 44 percent contained, down from 68 percent the previous day, Mr. Pasinato said.
Elsewhere, the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park was closed yesterday because of a Wyoming lightning-caused wildfire that had charred an estimated 12,000 acres, or about 18 square miles. Crews in Montana worked to douse flames near a residential area before a change in the weather.
Storm to stay strong as it reaches islands
HONOLULU — Hurricane Flossie roared toward Hawaii yesterday with its sustained wind increased to 140 mph, and was expected to retain much of its strength by the time it passes the islands.
Forecasters earlier had said cooler weather would weaken the storm to a Category 1 hurricane, with sustained wind of at least 74 mph, by the time it passes about 70 miles south of the Big Island of Hawaii late today or early tomorrow.
But yesterday forecasters said they now expected a Category 3 hurricane, with sustained wind of at least 111 mph, to pass the islands.
The National Weather Service placed the Big Island under a hurricane watch, meaning hurricane conditions were possible within 36 hours. A flash-flood watch was also issued for the island through tomorrow, with possible flash flooding in areas. Other islands are expected to experience much less of the storm’s wind and rain.
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