- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Latest on wildfires in the U.S. West (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

Two wildfires burning in Northern California have expanded a bit but fire crews have made some gains and increased containment.

The blaze burning near the scenic Big Sur region of California has charred almost 73 square miles by Wednesday evening. It is 25 percent contained.

Officials are asking for the public’s help to find whoever started the campfire that sparked the wildfire, which destroyed 57 homes. A bulldozer operator also was killed on the fire lines during a rollover accident.

A grass fire in a popular recreational area in Northern California has charred more than 7 square miles since igniting Tuesday afternoon. It spread quickly and prompted the evacuation of an RV and tent campground off Highway 128 near Lake Berryessa and the Napa Valley. No vineyards in wine country are threatened.

The fire is about 10 percent contained.

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2:20 p.m.

Utah firefighters say evacuations have been lifted as they get the upper hand on a small wildfire burning near homes south of Salt Lake City.

Dave Ulibarri with Salt Lake County’s Unified Fire Authority said Wednesday people from 39 homes have been allowed back home and the fire is now about 50 percent contained.

It started overnight on a mountainside above the city of Draper and spread quickly through dry grass and brush.

Fed by high winds in the steep area, the blaze came within 60 feet to 80 feet of houses in a well-to-do neighborhood overnight. Damage was reported to U.S. Forest Service and residential fencing, but no homes were lost.

Investigators are probing what caused the fire and say they didn’t have any reports of lightning overnight.

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11:40 a.m.

Officials are reporting progress containing two large wildfires pushed by dry winds through remote rangeland and rugged mountain canyons in northwestern Nevada.

One fire that has charred more than 84 square miles in the Virginia Mountains near Pyramid Lake was about 41 percent contained on Wednesday.

Another, farther north near Poodle Mountain, is 80 percent contained. It’s now mapped at 10.25 square miles in a wilderness study area about 20 miles northwest of Gerlach.

No new injuries were reported among the more than 1,100 firefighters working to contain the two fires, and neither fire is threatening structures. Both were started by lightning.

Pyramid Lake is about 40 miles north of Reno.

It remains closed so aircraft can use it to scoop water to fight the fires.

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11 a.m.

Authorities are considering what potential penalties face those who set an illegal campfire that ballooned into a massive wildfire near the scenic Big Sur region of California.

Officials want the public’s help to find whoever started the flames that blew up to more than 71 square miles and destroyed 57 homes. A bulldozer operator also was killed on the fire lines during a rollover accident.

Monterey County sheriff’s Cmdr. John Thornburg says those responsible could face civil penalties for the cost to fight the fire. Prosecutors also could file charges in the death of 35-year-old Robert Reagan.

Investigators determined that an unattended campfire started the blaze on July 22 in a day-use area of Garapata Park. The area is clearly marked with signs saying campfires are prohibited.

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10:15 a.m.

A grass fire in a popular recreational area in Northern California has more than doubled in size in less than a day.

The blaze has charred more than 6 square miles since igniting Tuesday afternoon. It spread quickly and prompted the evacuation of an RV and tent campground off Highway 128 near Lake Berryessa and the Napa Valley. No vineyards in wine country are threatened.

No one has been injured, but at least three dozen homes and RVs have been evacuated.

More than 700 firefighters were working the blaze Wednesday. The fire is about 5 percent contained.

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9:35 a.m.

Firefighters are setting up sprinkler systems to protect buildings in a central Idaho town after a wildfire expanded to 75 square miles.

Officials say slightly cooler weather and winds Wednesday should help firefighters trying to prevent flames from reaching the small town of Lowman.

Fire spokeswoman Jennifer Myslivy says no evacuations are in place.

Nearly 1,500 firefighters are battling the blaze burning timber in rugged terrain. By Wednesday, it had grown by more than 9 square miles.

Fire crews have repeatedly had to abandon fire lines as the flames moved north. Myslivy says crews are trying to build another line using a prescribed burn near Lowman.

State Highway 21 is closed from 6 miles north of Idaho City to south of Lowman.

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9:15 a.m.

Firefighters say about 30 homes in Utah have been evacuated after a small wildfire ignited near a neighborhood backing up to a mountainside.

Dave Ulibarri with Salt Lake County’s Unified Fire Authority said the blaze started early Wednesday on a mountainside above the city of Draper and spread quickly through dry grass and brush.

Fed by high winds in the steep area, the fire came within 60 to 80 feet of houses overnight. Authorities say some fences were damaged, but no homes have been lost.

Evacuation orders remain in place as crews fight the blaze in temperatures that could reach the low 90s. The fire is about 5 percent contained.

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8:45 a.m.

A wildfire in a popular recreational area in Northern California grew overnight to more than 3 square miles.

The grass fire ignited Tuesday afternoon and quickly spread, prompting the evacuation of an RV and tent campground off Highway 128 near Lake Berryessa and the Napa Valley. No vineyards in wine country are threatened.

By Wednesday morning, authorities say crews had gained some containment of the fire.

The danger is concentrated around high-voltage Pacific Gas & Electric poles along the highway. No one has been injured.

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