All Weather News

Fires Continue to Burn in the West

18 Jun 2021, 5:00 am

Fire alerts are in place once again as potentially record breaking heat continues to bring problems to the desert Southwest. In combination with extreme drought, fire danger is a prominent threat to the western United States. There are hundreds of thousands of acres already burning, mainly in Utah and Arizona, with evacuations still ongoing for many.


Fire weather alerts are in place across the Great Lakes region on Friday for gusty winds and dry conditions. We’ve seen storms in the areas in the previous days, but not enough to make a huge difference in our fire danger.

For the Pacific Northwest, we’re dealing with more fire danger into the weekend. This carries into the southwest as well. Thunderstorms with more lightning than rain, could spark wildfires in many locations. If you see smoke, please report it.

Utah Fires

Pack Creek Fire

The Pack Creek Fire began on June 9th due to a campfire that was left unattended last week. Always remember, if it’s too hot to touch it’s too hot to leave. At least 3 structures have burned down because of this fire and soot and smoke particulate was falling over some people’s homes as far as Grand Junction, CO.

Multiple homes are in the path of the fire, along with infrastructure that provides services to rural Utah communities. Firefighters are working hard to keep the fire at bay.


Bear Fire

Another large fire is burning near Helper, Utah. There is a secondary fire nearby, the Bennion Fire, that is now over 8,000 acres with 41% containment.


Fire fighters are battling this fire from the ground and the air, using buckets to drop water over the fires.

Mescal and Telegraph Fires (Arizona)

The Telegraph Fire is now almost 2 weeks old and continues to burn in southern Arizona. Late Tuesday night (June 15, 2021), it jumped containment lines and more communities were forced to evacuate. Unfortunately, the containment of the fire (amount of the fire perimeter drawn) has dropped. It is now the 6th largest in Arizona state history.

Fire activity has reduced to moderate levels but with gusty winds, low humidity and scorching hot temperatures rapid fire growth can still be expected.

Smoke from fires burning across the four corners region will reduce air quality in many locations. Check your local offices for air quality information.


The Robertson Draw Fire near Red Lodge in southern Montana continues to burn. Evacuations are in place for this large wildfire. It is up to 21,000 acres as of Wednesday morning.

The fire weather outlooks for today (Friday) and Saturday highlight many areas of concern across most of the interior West.

For the latest on the fires, be sure to tune into WeatherNation 50 minutes past the hour during your west regional forecast.

About the author
Alana Cameron was born and raised in Canada in the city of Mississauga, just outside of Toronto. Alana is the oldest of 4 siblings, all close in age, and grew up playing outside with them in all types of weather. After graduating high school, Alana moved to study at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna for a year before transferring to Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia where sh... Load Moree completed a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Atmospheric Science. Upon completion, Alana moved back to Toronto where she completed a post-grad degree in Meteorology at York University. After her post-grad, she went on to complete another post-grad in Broadcast Journalism - TV News at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. During her final year of studies she had the privilege of interning with the best in the business in Canada at The Weather Network. Once she finished her internship, she got the call from small-town Denison, Texas where she accepted a job as an on-air meteorologist at KTEN-TV, right in tornado alley, covering severe weather from Sherman/Denison (North Texas) to Ada (Southern Oklahoma). After the most active tornado season Oklahoma had seen in May 2019 (105 tornadoes!) Alana is excited to join WeatherNation to cover weather all across the nation. If you're interested in following her on social media she can be found @alanacameronwx!