Wildfire near Vegas prompts 100s to flee homes

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A lightning-sparked fire near Las Vegas has grown to nearly 14,000 acres as it burns through bone-dry trees and vegetation.

Officials say the uncontrolled blaze prompted evacuations of more than 500 people and left a blanket of smoke over the city.

U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Julie Thomas says no injuries or damage to structures were reported.

The Clark County Department of Air Quality extended a health advisory for smoke and ground-level ozone through Sunday around Las Vegas.

Some 600 firefighters were battling the blaze with the help of an aerial assault involving five helicopters and five air tankers, but they’re hampered by steep, rugged terrain, temperatures in the upper 90s and wind gusts of up to 40 mph.

The fire advanced to within a mile of homes and Thomas says evacuees will not be allowed to return until crews gain the upper hand.

Sound:

%@AP Links

230-a-12-(Julie Thomas, public information officer, U.S. Forest Service, in AP interview)-”is very dry”-U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Julie Thomas says, in addition to erratic winds, the temperature is hindering fire crews. (6 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *230 (07/06/13)££ 00:12 “is very dry”

228-a-12-(Julie Thomas, public information officer, U.S. Forest Service, in AP interview)-”zero percent contained”-U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Julie Thomas says a wildfire burning near Las Vegas, called the Carpenter One Fire, has forced hundreds of people from their homes. ((watch for dating)) (6 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *228 (07/06/13)££ 00:12 “zero percent contained”

229-a-09-(Julie Thomas, public information officer, U.S. Forest Service, in AP interview)-”from three canyons”-U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Julie Thomas says the Carpenter One Fire has prompted hundreds of evacuations. (6 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *229 (07/06/13)££ 00:09 “from three canyons”

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