FIRES WREAK HAVOC IN US

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

FIRE­FIGHT­ERS were braced for a fresh run by a wild­fire that sent tourists flee­ing from ho­tels and camp­grounds in Mon­tana’s Glacier Na­tional Park, while a blaze threat­en­ing hun­dreds of homes in north­ern Cal­i­for­nia shot flames 30 me­tres in the air.

Both states are rav­aged by drought, and ris­ing tem­per­a­tures and strength­en­ing winds greeted newly ar­rived crews tak­ing aim at the blaze in the north­ern Rocky Moun­tains. It has burned along a front more than 15km wide along the eastern side of the Mon­tana park dur­ing prime tourist sea­son, when lodges and inns have been booked for months.

The fire ig­nited on Tues­day and then swept along ridges near the scenic Go­ing- tothe- Sun Rd, the park’s most pop­u­lar road­way. More than 600 campers fled.

Mean­while, the Cal­i­for­nia fire threat­ened 200 homes and ranches out­side Napa Val­ley, and black smoke could be seen as far away as San Fran­cisco and Sacra­mento.

More than 520 fire­fight­ers bat­tled the wild­fire, strug­gling to ac­cess the blaze through rugged, brush- choked ter­rain about 45 min­utes east of the pop­u­lar wine coun­try.

HEAVEN SENT: A chop­per drops wa­ter on a wild­fire in north­ern Cal­i­for­nia's Napa Val­ley wine coun­try. The blaze threat­ens hun­dreds of homes.

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