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Exploding wildfires in US West derail vacation plans

On this Monday, July 2, 2018 photograph, a helicopter for water after making a water drop on a wildfire near Fairplay, Colorado.

(Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via AP)

A growing swath of forest fires in the western United States threatens to damper holiday park rangers and fire officials in the region are heavily curtailed the accessibility of National Parks and campsites before the Independence Day holiday.

In the mountains of Colorado, a wildfire destroyed more than 100 houses, while blazes in the dry AMERICAN West held hundreds of other homes are under evacuation orders. Late Monday, a fire near Fort Garland, about 205 miles southwest of Denver, had destroyed 104 homes in a mountain housing development.

The so-called Spring Creek fire is one of the six major fires burning in Colorado. While researchers believe that it was started by a spark from an open pit, other fires were started by lightning.

The Spring Creek Fire continues to burn in Costilla County on Tuesday 3 July 2018 in La Veta, Colorado.

(Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via AP)

Elsewhere, 60 active blazes burning in the West, including nine in New Mexico and six in both Utah and California, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

In Utah, authorities have evacuated more than 200 homes as a result of a growing wildfire near a popular fishing reservoir southeast of Salt Lake City. Several structures have been lost since the fire started on Sunday, but it is unclear how many.

Meanwhile the wind-fuelled wildfire in Northern California that remains the sending of a thick layer of smoke and ash south of San Francisco was threatening more than 900 buildings.

The fire burns the hills, as well as the County Fire further along the Highway 129 near Lake Berryessa in Yolo County, California, Tuesday, July 3, 2018.

(Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee via AP)

The huge blaze is choking sky with ash and smoke, which officials cancel Fourth of July fireworks and the urge of people to stay indoors to protect themselves from the air.

“The weather is better than what we had in the weekend. But it is a damper on our efforts, and it is an area of interest,” said a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and fire protection.

Because of the Independence Day, the authorities are concerned about the ability of the campfire and fireworks to start new fires because of the hot conditions. In Colorado, many communities have cancelled fireworks displays, and a number of federal public countries and provinces have banned campfires or smoke in the air.

A burned-out structure is visible through the smoke as a wildfire continues to burn east of Strawberry Reservoir, Wasatch County, Utah, Tuesday July 3, 2018.

(Scott G Winterton/the Deseret News via AP)

In Arizona, large parts of the national forests and state trust land is closed since before Memorial Day, while some towns have cancelled fireworks due to extreme fire danger.

In New Mexico, a part of the three national forests remain closed because of the wildfire threat, put a damper on holiday camping plans. And the forests that are open have strict rules, in particular with regard to fireworks.

“We are just urging people with extreme caution,” said a spokeswoman for the New Mexico State Forestry Division. “We want people to have fun and enjoy, but we prefer they leave the fireworks to the professionals.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.

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