A wildfire near a southern Utah ski town that has forced hundreds of people to evacuate has doubled in size in high winds and drove out residents of 400 additional homes, authorities said Thursday. The blaze is one of several burning in the U.S. West as extreme heat makes it difficult for firefighters to tamp down the flames. In Utah, new evacuations were ordered east of the fire’s epicenter in the tiny mountain town of Brian Head, with residents nearby and people visiting a popular

fishing area also asked to leave to avoid danger, said Denise Dastrup of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office. More than 700 other people have been out of their homes since Saturday. Someone using a torch to burn weeds ignited the fire near the alpine community that is home to the Brian Head Resort and close to several national monuments and parks in Utah’s red rock country. READ MORE