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SKYE on AOL

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    You'd be forgiven for thinking it was the night before Christmas, and not the night before Independence Day, in Santa Rosa, N.M.

    More than a foot of hail blanketed the town, covering streets and yards, and forcing snowplows to clear the roads. An enormous thunderstorm dumped the hail on the town on July 3, according to 9 News. Minor damage was reported in the area.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Epic Storm Photos from the Twittersphere

     

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    Updated Friday, July 5, 10:20 p.m. ET

    (NOAA)

    MIAMI (AP) - Forecasters say Tropical Storm Erick is intensifying off the coast of Mexico and quickly approaching hurricane strength.

    The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Erick was centered about 115 miles (200 kms) southwest of Lazaro Cardenas on Friday. Its maximum sustained winds had reached 70 mph (110 kph), and it was moving west-northwest at about 10 mph (17 kph).

    Erick could reach hurricane strength by Friday night, though it is expected to remain offshore.

    A tropical storm warning is in effect on the southwestern Mexican coast from Zihuatanejo to La Fortuna. A watch is in effect for west of La Fortuna to Cabo Corrientes.

    RELATED ON SKYE: 30 Stunning Photos Revealing the Power of Hurricanes

     

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    This aerial photo shows Yarnell, Ariz. on Wednesday, July 3, 2013, in the aftermath of the Yarnell Hill Fire that claimed the lives of 19 members of an elite firefighting crew on Sunday. (AP Photo/Tom Tingle)

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - There's a dangerous but basic equation behind the killer Yarnell Hill wildfire and other blazes raging across the West this summer: More heat, more drought, more fuel and more people in the way are adding up to increasingly ferocious fires.

    Scientists say a hotter planet will only increase the risk.

    More than two dozen wildland fires are burning from Alaska to New Mexico, fueled by triple-digit temperatures and arid conditions. In the Arizona mountain town of Yarnell, a blaze apparently sparked by lightning killed 19 members of an elite firefighting squad who had deployed their emergency shelters Sunday when erratic monsoon winds sent flames racing in their direction.

    While no single wildfire can be pinned solely on climate change, researchers say there are signs that fires are becoming bigger and more common in an increasingly hot and bone-dry West.

    "Twenty years ago, I would have said this was a highly unusual, fast-moving, dangerous fire," said fire history expert Don Falk at the University of Arizona at Tucson, referring to the Yarnell Hill fire. "Now unfortunately, it's not unusual at all."

    Wildfires are chewing through twice as many acres per year on average in the United States compared with 40 years ago, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell told a Senate hearing last month. Since Jan. 1, 2000, about 145,000 square miles have burned, roughly the size of New York, New England, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland combined, according to federal records.

    A draft federal report released earlier this year said climate change is stressing Western forests, making them more vulnerable to fires.

    What's happening now "is not new to us," said climate scientist Don Wuebbles of the University of Illinois, one of the main authors of the federal report. "We've been saying this for some time."

    Communities nestled next to wilderness are used to girding for fire season, which typically occurs in the summer. Compared with decades past, however, the traditional fire season now lasts two months longer and first responders sometimes find themselves beating back flames in the winter.

    Rising temperatures all over the West, for one, have created dangerous, dry conditions.

    Over the past 35 years, Arizona has seen dramatic warming, with the state's 10-year average temperature jumping from 59.1 degrees Fahrenheit in 1977 to 61.4 degrees last year - an increase of 2.3 degrees. By comparison, the entire continental U.S.' 10-year average temperature jumped only 1.6 degrees during the same period. Experts say every little spike in temperature makes a big difference.

    "Even a degree or so warmer, day in day out, evaporates water faster and that desiccates the system more," said fire ecologist Steve Running of the University of Montana.

    In Arizona, where a drought has persisted for nearly two decades, the manzanita, evergreen, mount mahogany and oak in the Yarnell area were so crispy Sunday that a nearby state fire-monitoring station recorded a near-maximum level of potential fuel in area vegetation.

    In many places, decades of aggressively snuffing out wildfires also have led to a buildup of fuel ready to ignite. On top of that, more people are living in fire-prone areas near forests, grasslands and shrub lands, which complicates firefighting logistics.

    Over the past years, firefighters on the front lines have complained about how flames "go berserk in ways they never used to see," Running said.

    Though the Yarnell Hill Fire, at 13 square miles, was not considered huge compared with previous fires in Arizona, its ferociousness caught many off guard. Investigators said it appeared the Granite Mountain Hotshots were overrun by flames fanned by erratic winds.

    At one point, the fire raced four miles in just 20 minutes, fed by the dry brush and 41 mph winds that suddenly switched direction, said Yavapai County Sheriff's Capt. Jeff Newnum.

    Climate scientist Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Arizona said unless greenhouse gas emissions are curbed, huge, fierce wildfires will become the norm.

    "We owe it to the men and women who put themselves in harm's way to do everything we can to make their firefighting jobs safer," Overpeck said in an email.

    Governments also need to rethink the way they deal with fires, which could mean just letting some burn rather than sending fire crews into increasingly intense and unpredictable situations, said University of Montana fire scientist and elite firefighter Carl Seielstad.

    "I think it's inevitable," he said. "We're going to have to accept defeat when we're defeated."

    As residents across the West learn to cope, scientists point to the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which in 2007 predicted that warmer summer temperatures were expected to increase fire risk.

    Six years later, "we keep seeing more and more amazing fire dynamics," the University of Montana's Running said. "And there's just no reason to believe overall that this is going to go back ... We better be ready for more of it."

    RELATED ON SKYE: Photos: Yarnell Hill Wildfire Claims Lives of 19 Firefighters

     

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    Injuries at California Fireworks Show
    A fireworks display in Simi Valley, Calif. turned terrifying Thursday night when malfunctioning fireworks exploded into the crowd. At least 28 people have been injured by the fireworks at the annual 4th of July show northwest of Los Angeles. Police say it appears a detonation occurred at the city-run Fireworks Extravaganza.

    ELATED ON SKYE: America's Best Fireworks Displays

     

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    (Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

    A plume of moisture surging northward from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea will bring widespread tropical downpours to a large part of the Southeast through the holiday weekend.

    Some cities that have the highest potential for flooding on multiple days through the weekend include Tampa, Pensacola and Tallahassee, Fla.; Atlanta, Ga.; Birmingham, Ala.; Greenville, S.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; London, Ky.; Charleston, W.Va. and Pensacola, Fla.

    AccuWeather.com meteorologists are especially concerned for dangerous flash flooding along the western Florida Panhandle and across parts of central Tennessee and central Kentucky.



    While widespread river flooding is not likely from this event, there is considerable concern for rapid, dangerous flash flooding of low-lying areas, urban areas, areas with poor drainage and along smalls streams.

    Numerous blinding downpours will cause severe restrictions to normal driving speed as low visibility and water-logged roadways bring the risk of hydroplaning.

    Those traveling I-65 in Alabama, I-40 in Tennessee or I-10 in the Florida Panhandle will likely endure significant delays this afternoon and evening.

    Arrival and departure delays at major airports like Atlanta's Hartsfield International may also be common, especially as drenching storms engulf the region in the afternoon and evening hours.

    This situation has the potential to be particularly dangerous in some areas. It is important to remember that flash flooding can be life-threatening. Not every location will have flash flooding, and some areas may not receive much rainfall at all, but that will not be the case in other, less lucky locations.

    RELATED:
    AccuWeather.com Severe Weather Center
    Mid-Atlantic: Much Less Rainy for July Fourth Weekend
    Flooding Concerns Mount Florida to Appalachians


    Tremendous rainfall in a short amount of time can cause flooding in areas that you might not even think can flood. Yards and basements can become more like lakes and swimming pools. In towns with hilly terrain, streets can easily be turned into rushing rivers.

    It only takes a few inches of swift-moving water to sweep a person from his feet and only 18 inches to lift a vehicle and wash it away.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Epic Storm Photos from the Twittersphere

     

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    (ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)


    The Yellow Sea has turned green. Indeed, a blue-green algae bloom has blanketed coastal waters in the Chinese city of Qingdao.

    Though the algae -- roughly twice the size of Connecticut -- could be caused by anything from fertilizer runoff to industrial waste, it's not keeping intrepid swimmers from taking a dip. The Chinese government is planning on collecting the algae and processing it into animal feed.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: 50 Must-See Weather Photos

     

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    Updated July 6, 2013, 3:00 p.m. ED

    (NOAA)

    MEXICO CITY (AP) - Erick strengthened to a hurricane off of southern Mexico Saturday, threatening to dump heavy rain as it skirts the country's Pacific coast.


    The presence of the Category 1 hurricane forced the closure of the seaport of Manzanillo, Mexico's biggest container port.

    The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Erick became a hurricane as its maximum sustained winds grew to around 80 mph.

    The hurricane was centered about 90 miles south of Manzanillo and was moving northwest at 9 mph, on a track roughly parallel to the coast for the states of Guerrero, Colima and Jalisco.

    A hurricane watch was declared for Punta San Telmo to Cabo Corrientes, and a tropical storm warning was in effect from the resort of Zihuatanejo westward to Cabo Corrientes.

    Gabriel Rivas, a meteorologist at the Manzanillo Port Authority, said the port was closed late Friday as a precaution, but no rain or high winds had yet been reported in the area.

    In neighboring Jalisco state, civil defense officer Leonel Hernandez said authorities in coastal communities were meeting to plan preparations for the hurricane, but that skies in the Jalisco coastal community of Cihuatlan were still clear.

    Forecasters predict a northwest to west-northwest track over the next few days but say the storm should remain offshore. Rain accumulations from 3 to 5 inches are expected. Forecasters warn of flash floods.

    RELATED ON SKYE: 30 Stunning Photos Revealing the Power of Hurricanes

     

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    Updated Sunday, July 6, 8:25 p.m. ET

    This frame grab from video provided by KTVU shows the scene after an Asiana Airlines flight crashed while landing at San Francisco Airport on Saturday, July 6, 2013. (AP Photo/KTVU)

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - An Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul, South Korea, crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, killing at least two people, injuring dozens of others and forcing passengers to jump down the emergency inflatable slides to safety as flames tore through the plane.


    More than 60 people were also unaccounted for from among the 307 passengers and crew aboard the flight, said San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White. It wasn't immediately clear where they were, but she said they weren't all presumed dead at this time.

    "This is a work in progress," she said, adding the investigation has been turned over to the FBI and that terrorism has been ruled out. She said at least 48 people were initially transported from the scene to area hospitals.

    The Federal Aviation Administration said Flight 214 crashed while landing before noon PDT. A video clip posted to YouTube showed smoke coming from a jet on the tarmac. Passengers could be seen jumping down the emergency slides.

    Television footage showed the top of the fuselage was burned away and the entire tail was gone. One engine appeared to have broken away. Pieces of the tail were strewn about the runway. Emergency responders could be seen walking inside the burned-out wreckage.

    It wasn't immediately clear what happened to the plane as it was landing, but some eyewitnesses said the aircraft seemed to lose control and that the tail may have hit the ground.

    Stephanie Turner saw the plane going down and the rescue slides deploy, but returned to her hotel room before seeing any passengers get off the jet, she told ABC News. Turner said when she first saw the flight she noticed right away that the angle of its approach seemed strange.

    "I mean we were sure that we had just seen a lot of people die. It was awful," she said. "And it looked like the plane had completely broken apart. There were flames and smoke just billowing."

    Kate Belding was out jogging just before 11:30 a.m. on a path across the water from the airport when she noticed the plane approaching the runway in a way that "just didn't look like it was coming in quite right."

    "Then all of a sudden I saw what looked like a cloud of dirt puffing up and then there was a big bang and it kind of looked like the plane maybe bounced (as it neared the ground)," she said. "I couldn't really tell what happened, but you saw the wings going up and (in) a weird angle."

    "Not like it was cartwheeling," she said, but rather as though the wings were almost swaying from side to side.

    The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team of investigators to San Francisco to probe the crash. NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said Saturday that NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman would head the team.

    Boeing said it was preparing to provide technical assistance to the NTSB. The maker of the plane's engines, Pratt & Whitney, said it was cooperating with authorities investigating the crash.

    Asiana is a South Korean airline, second in size to national carrier Korean Air. It has recently tried to expand its presence in the United States, and joined the Star Alliance, which is anchored in the U.S. by United Airlines.

    The 777-200 is a long-range plane from Boeing. The twin-engine aircraft is one of the world's most popular long-distance planes, often used for flights of 12 hours or more, from one continent to another. The airline's website says its 777s can carry between 246 to 300 passengers.

    The flight was 10 hours and 23 minutes, according to FlightAware, a flight tracking service. The 777 is a smaller, wide-body jet that can travel long distances without refueling and is typically used for long flights over water.

    The most notable accident involving a 777 occurred on Jan. 17, 2008 at Heathrow Airport in London. British Airways Flight 28 landed hard about 1,000 feet short of the runway and slid onto the start of the runway. The impact broke the 777-200's landing gear. There were 47 injuries, but no fatalities.

    An investigation revealed ice pellets that had formed in the fuel were clogging the fuel-oil heat exchanger, blocking fuel from reaching the plane's engines. The Rolls-Royce Trent 800 series engines that were used on the plane were then redesigned.

    Bill Waldock, an expert on aviation accident investigation, said he was reminded of the Heathrow accident as he watched video of Saturday's crash. "Of course, there is no indication directly that's what happened here," he said. "That's what the investigation is going to have to find out."

    The Asiana 777 "was right at the landing phase and for whatever reason the landing went wrong," said Waldock, director of the Embry-Riddle University accident investigation laboratory in Prescott, Ariz. "For whatever reason, they appeared to go low on approach and then the airplane pitched up suddenly to an extreme attitude, which could have been the pilots trying to keep it out of the ground."

    The last time a large U.S. airline lost a plane in a fatal crash was an American Airlines Airbus A300 taking off from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York in 2001.

    Smaller airlines have had crashes since then. The last fatal U.S. crash was a Continental Express flight operated by Colgan Air, which crashed into a house near Buffalo, N.Y. on Feb. 12, 2009. The crash killed all 49 people on board and one man in a house.

    Flying remains one of the safest forms of transportation: There are about two deaths worldwide for every 100 million passengers on commercial flights, according to an Associated Press analysis of government accident data.

    Just a decade ago, passengers were 10 times as likely to die when flying on an American plane. The risk of death was even greater during the start of the jet age, with 1,696 people dying - 133 out of every 100 million passengers - from 1962 to 1971. The figures exclude acts of terrorism.

    Asia remains one of the fastest-growing regions for aviation in the world. Even with slowing economies in Japan and China, airlines there saw 3.7 percent more passengers than a year ago, according to the International Air Transport Association.

    Finding enough experienced pilots to meet a growing number of flights is becoming a problem. A 2012 report by aircraft manufacturer Boeing said the industry would need 460,000 new commercial airline pilots in the next two decades - with 185,000 of them needed in Asia alone.

    "The Asia-Pacific region continues to present the largest projected growth in pilot demand," the report said.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Off-the-Charts Hottest and Coldest Places on Earth
    Hottet Places on Earth

     

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    Updated: July 7, 2013, 1 p.m. ED

    (NOAA)

    MIAMI (AP) - Erick is weakening and has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves off the Pacific coast of Mexico.

    The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says the storm was centered Sunday about 260 miles southeast of the southern tip of Baja California. The storm has top sustained winds of about 70 mph and is moving northwest at 10 mph.

    Mexican authorities say a tropical storm warning is in effect from Southern Baja California from Santa Fe to La Paz. Tropical storm conditions are expected there by early Monday.

    Rainfall totaling 2 to 4 inches is possible in some areas.

    Forecasters also say swells likely to cause rip current conditions are likely.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: 50 Must-See Weather Photos

     

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    Fire crews work the crash site of Asiana Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Saturday, July 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Bay Area News Group, John Green)

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - After nearly 11 hours in the air, the passengers and crew aboard a jumbo jetliner traveling from Seoul to San Francisco were looking forward to a quick and uneventful landing as Asiana Airlines Flight 214 approached the airport from over San Francisco Bay. What they got instead, without a word of warning, was terror, panic and confusion.

    The Boeing 777 slammed into the runway on Saturday morning, breaking off its tail and catching fire before slumping to a stop that allowed the lucky ones to flee down emergency slides into thick smoke and a trail of debris. Firefighters doused the flames that burned through the fuselage with foam and water, and police officers on the ground threw utility knives up to crew members so they could cut the seat belts of those who remained trapped as rescue crews removed the injured.

    By the time the 307 people on the flight all were accounted for several hours later, two Chinese teenage girls found outside wreckage had been confirmed dead and 182 transported to area hospitals. But as harrowing as the crash was, survivors and witnesses were just as stunned to learn that the toll of deaths and serious injuries wasn't much higher.

    "When you heard that explosion, that loud boom and you saw the black smoke...you just thought, my god, everybody in there is gone," said Ki Siadatan, who lives a few miles away from San Francisco International Airport and watched the plane's "wobbly" and "a little bit out of control" approach from his balcony. "My initial reaction was I don't see how anyone could have made it."

    Vedpal Singh, who was sitting in the middle of the aircraft and survived the crash with his family, said there was no forewarning from the pilot or any crew members before the plane touched down hard and he heard a loud sound.

    "We knew something was horrible wrong," said Singh, who suffered a fractured collarbone and had his arm was in a sling.

    "It's miraculous we survived," he said.

    A visibly shaken Singh said the plane went silent before people tried to get out anyway they could. His 15-year-old son said luggage tumbled from the overhead bins. The entire incident lasted about 10 seconds.

    Another passenger, Benjamin Levy, 39, said it looked to him that the plane was flying too low and too close to the bay as it approached the runway. Levy, who was sitting in an emergency exit row, said he felt the pilot try to lift the jet up before it crashed, and thinks the maneuver might have saved some lives.

    "Everybody was screaming. I was trying to usher them out," he recalled of the first seconds after the landing. "I said, 'Stay calm, stop screaming, help each other out, don't push.'"

    San Francisco Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White said the two who died were found on "the exterior" of the plane. "Having surveyed that area, we're lucky that there hasn't been a greater loss," she said.

    Airport spokesman Doug Yakel said 49 people were critically injured and 132 had less significant injuries.

    The flight originated in Shanghai, China, and stopped over in Seoul, South Korea, before coming to San Francisco, airport officials said. The airline said there were 16 crew members aboard and 291 passengers. South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said that the plane's passengers included 141 Chinese, 77 South Koreans, 61 Americans, three Canadians, three from India, one Japanese, one Vietnamese and one from France, while the nationalities of the remaining three haven't been confirmed. Thirty of the passengers were children.

    Chinese state media identified the dead as two 16-year-old girls who were middle school students in China's eastern Zhejiang province. China Central Television cited a fax from Asiana Airlines to the Jiangshan city government. They were identified as Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia.

    At least 70 Chinese students and teachers were on the plane heading to summer camps, according to education authorities in China.

    Asiana President Yoon Young-doo said at a televised news conference that it will take time to determine the cause of the crash. But when asked about the possibility of engine or mechanical problems, he said he doesn't believe they could have been the cause. He said the plane was bought in 2006 but didn't provide further details or elaborate. Asiana officials later said the plane was also built that year.

    Yoon also bowed and offered an apology, "I am bowing my head and extending my deep apology" to the passengers, their families and the South Korean people over the crash, he said.

    South Korean President Park Geun-hye offered her condolences to the families of passengers and said her government would make all necessary efforts to help handle the aftermath, according to her spokeswoman Kim Haing.

    "I offer my deep condolences to the families of the passengers who suffered from the unexpected Asiana plane crash," South Korean President Park Geun-hye said, according to her spokeswoman Kim Haing. Park said that the South Korean government will make all necessary efforts to help handle the aftermath, according to Kim.

    Based on witness accounts in the news and video of the wreckage, Mike Barr, a former military pilot and accident investigator who teaches aviation safety at the University of Southern California, said it appeared the plane approached the runway too low and something may have caught the runway lip - the seawall at the end of the runway.

    San Francisco is one of several airports around the country that border bodies of water that have walls at the end of their runways to prevent planes that overrun a runway from ending up in the water.

    Since the plane was about to land, its landing gear would have already been down, Barr said. It's possible the landing gear or the tail of the plane hit the seawall, he said. If that happened, it would effectively slam the plane into the runway, he said.

    Noting that some witnesses reported hearing the plane's engines rev up just before the crash, Barr said that would be consistent with a pilot who realized at the last minute that the plane was too low and was increasing power to the engines to try to increase altitude. Barr said he could think of no reason why a plane would come in to land that low.

    Kate Belding was out jogging just before 11:30 a.m. on a path across the water from the airport when she noticed the plane approaching the runway in a way that "just didn't look like it was coming in quite right."

    "Then all of a sudden I saw what looked like a cloud of dirt puffing up and then there was a big bang and it kind of looked like the plane maybe bounced (as it neared the ground)," she said. "I couldn't really tell what happened, but you saw the wings going up and (in) a weird angle."

    Four pilots were aboard the plane and they rotated on a two-person shift during the flight, according to The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in South Korea. The two who piloted the plane at the time of crash were Lee Jeong-min and Lee Gang-guk.

    Yoon, the Asiana president, described the pilots as "skilled," saying three had logged more than 10,000 hours each of flight time. He said the fourth had put in almost that much time, but officials later corrected that to say the fourth had logged nearly 5,000 hours. All four are South Koreans.

    Asiana is a South Korean airline, second in size to national carrier Korean Air. It has recently tried to expand its presence in the United States, and joined the Star Alliance, which is anchored in the U.S. by United Airlines.

    The 777-200 is a long-range plane from Boeing. The twin-engine aircraft is often used for flights from one continent to another because it can travel 12 hours or more without refueling.

    The most notable accident involving a 777 occurred on Jan. 17, 2008 at Heathrow Airport in London. British Airways Flight 28 landed hard about 1,000 feet short of the runway and slid onto the start of the runway. The impact broke the 777-200's landing gear. There were 47 injuries, but no fatalities.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: 50 Must-See Weather Photos

     

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    Check out these cloud patterns.

    Astronaut Karen Nyberg posted this photo to Twitter yesterday from the International Space Station. Those islands are the Canaries off Morocco. Nice, no?

    RELATED ON SKYE: 25 Amazing Photos of the International Space Station
    International Space Station, Shuttle

     

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    Updated Monday, July 8, 2013, 8:29 p.m. ET


    CASTRIES, St. Lucia (AP) - St. Lucia shuttered schools and prepared to close the island's two airports while urging residents to finish preparations for the approach of strengthening Tropical Storm Chantal as it raced Monday toward the small islands of the Lesser Antilles.

    The fast-moving storm's maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph (85 kph) Monday evening with some strengthening expected over the next two days. Chantal was centered about 320 miles (515 kilometers) east-southeast of Barbados and was moving west-northwest at 26 mph (43 kph).

    The center of the tropical storm was expected to churn over the Atlantic and reach the small islands on the eastern rim of the Caribbean early Tuesday and then move into the Caribbean Sea, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

    Chantal could be near hurricane strength on Wednesday before it reaches Hispaniola, the island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Both countries are very vulnerable to flooding and landslides from storms, but widespread deforestation and ramshackle housing in Haiti mean even moderate rains pose a significant threat.

    U.S. forecasters expect that wind shear and interaction with the mountains of Hispaniola and Cuba will cause Chantal to start weakening in about three days and it is expected to be a tropical depression Friday while over the Bahamas.

    In St. Lucia's capital of Castries, supermarkets stayed open late on Monday as islanders stocked up on emergency supplies including water and batteries.

    The government was taking no chances earlier in the day, ordering a midday closure of all schools until Wednesday. The director of the local meteorological office warned that parts of the island could potentially be impacted by landslides and flooding.

    In a national address Monday evening, Prime Minister Kenny Anthony urged people to hunker down at home until the tropical storm had passed.

    A tropical storm warning was issued for St. Lucia, Barbados, Dominica, Puerto Rico and the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. A tropical storm watch was in effect for St. Vincent, the U.S. Virgin Islands and parts of the southern coast of the Dominican Republic.

    In Barbados, officials urged people to stay tuned to radio stations and prepare for the rapid approach of Chantal, the Atlantic season's third named storm.

    "This is hurricane season so we urge Barbadians to be prepared," said Kerry Hinds, deputy director of the island's emergency management department.

    In Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the U.S. Coast Guard urged all waterfront facilities to remove unsecured debris, hazardous material and pollutants from dockside areas. Pleasure craft operations were advised to seek safe harbor and secure their craft.

    The storm was expected to produce rain and strong winds in Puerto Rico, with gusts of up to 60 mph in southern and mountainous areas, according to Roberto Garcia, director of the National Weather Service on the island of less than 4 million inhabitants. Chantal was expected to pass more than 100 miles south of Puerto Rico early Wednesday.

    Meanwhile in the Pacific, Tropical Storm Erick was passing close to the southern portion of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, where a tropical storm warning is in effect. However, it is forecast to move away from the coast on Tuesday and is not expected to make landfall.

    Erick's maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 kph) with gradual weakening expected over the next 36 hours, when it is forecast to become a remnant.


    RELATED ON SKYE: 30 Stunning Hurricane Photos

     

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    MIAMI (AP) - Tropical Storm Erick is weakening further as it moves off the Pacific coast of Mexico.

    The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm was centered late Sunday about 165 miles (265 kms) southeast of the southern tip of Baja California. Erick has top sustained winds of about 60 mph (95 kph) and is moving northwest at 9 mph (15 kph).

    Mexican authorities say a tropical storm warning is in effect from Southern Baja California from Santa Fe to La Paz. Tropical storm conditions are expected there by early Monday.

    Rainfall totaling 2 to 4 inches is possible in some areas.

    Forecasters also say swells that can cause rip current conditions are likely.

    RELATED ON SKYE: 30 Stunning Photos Revealing the Power of Hurricanes

     

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    Monday, July 8, 2013

    This image released by the National Transportation Safety Board Sunday, July 7, 2013, shows NTSB workers near the Boeing 777 Asiana Airlines Flight 214 aircraft. (AP Photo/NTSB)

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Investigators have determined that Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was traveling "significantly below" the target speed during its approach and that the crew tried to abort the landing just before it smashed onto the runway. What they don't yet know is whether the pilot's inexperience with the type of aircraft and with San Francisco's airport played a role.

    A day after the jetliner crash landed in San Francisco, killing two people and sending more than 180 to hospitals, officials said Sunday that the probe was also focusing on whether the airport or plane's equipment also could have malfunctioned.

    The South Korea government announced Monday that officials will inspect engines and landing equipment on all Boeing 777 planes owned by Asiana and Korean Air, the national carrier.

    Also Sunday, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said he was investigating whether one of the two teenage passengers killed actually survived the crash but was run over by a rescue vehicle rushing to aid victims fleeing the burning aircraft. Remarkably, 305 of 307 passengers and crew survived the crash and more than a third didn't even require hospitalization. Only a small number were critically injured.

    Investigators said that the weather was unusually fair for foggy San Francisco. The winds were mild, too. During the descent, with their throttles set to idle, the pilots never discussed having any problems with the plane or its positioning until it was too late.

    Seven seconds before the Boeing 777 struck down, a member of the flight crew made a call to increase the jet's lagging speed, National Transportation Safety Board chief Deborah Hersman said at a briefing based on the plane's cockpit and flight data recorders. Three seconds later came a warning that the plane was about to stall.

    Two-and-a-half seconds later, the crew attempted to abort the landing and go back up for another try. The air traffic controller guiding the plane heard the crash that followed almost instantly, Hersman said.

    While investigators from both the U.S. and South Korea are in the early stages of an investigation that will include a weekslong examination of the wreckage and alcohol tests for the crew, the news confirmed what survivors and other witnesses had reported: a slow-moving airliner flying low to the ground.

    "We are not talking about a few knots" difference between the aircraft's target landing speed of 137 knots, or 157 mph (250 kph), and how fast it was going as it came in for a landing, Hersman said.

    Pilots normally try to land at the target speed, in this case 137 knots, plus an additional 5 more knots, said Bob Coffman, an American Airlines captain who has flown 777s. He said the briefing raises an important question: "Why was the plane going so slow?"

    The airline said Monday in Seoul that the pilot at the controls had little experience flying that type of plane and was landing one for the first time at that airport.

    Asiana spokeswoman Lee Hyomin said that Lee Gang-guk, who was at the controls, had nearly 10,000 hours flying other planes but only 43 in the 777, a plane she said he still was getting used to flying. Another pilot on the flight, Lee Jeong-min, had about 12,390 hours of flying experience, including 3,220 hours on the 777, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in South Korea. Lee was the deputy pilot, tasked with helping Lee Gang-guk get accustomed to the 777, according to Asiana Airlines.

    Two other pilots were aboard, with teams of rotating at the controls.

    The plane's Pratt & Whitney engines were on idle and the pilots were flying under visual flight rules, Hersman said. Under visual flight procedures in the Boeing 777, a wide-body jet, the autopilot would typically have been turned off while the automatic throttle, which regulates speed, would been on until the plane had descended to 500 feet (150 meters) in altitude, Coffman said. At that point, pilots would normally check their airspeed before switching off the autothrottle to continue a "hand fly" approach, he said.

    There was no indication in the discussions between the pilots and the air traffic controllers that there were problems with the aircraft.

    Survivors and rescuers said it was nothing less than astonishing that nearly everyone survived after a frightful scene of fire burning inside the fuselage, pieces of the aircraft scattered across the runway and people fleeing for their lives.

    In the first comments on the crash by a crew member, cabin manager Lee Yoon-hye said that seconds before impact she felt that something was wrong.

    "Right before touchdown, I felt like the plane was trying to take off. I was thinking 'what's happening?' and then I felt a bang," Lee told reporters Sunday night in San Francisco. "That bang felt harder than a normal landing. It was a very big shock. Afterward, there was another shock and the plane swayed to the right and to the left."

    She said that during the evacuation, two inflatable slides that were supposed to inflate toward the outside instead inflated toward the inside of the plane, hurting two Asiana flight attendants. Pilots came to rescue the flight attendants but even after getting injured, she said that the crew did not leave the plane until after the passengers evacuated. She said she was the last one to go.

    South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said the 291 passengers included 141 Chinese, 77 South Koreans, 64 Americans, three Canadians, three Indians, one Japanese, one Vietnamese and one person from France.

    The two dead passengers have been identified as students from China - 16 and 17 years old - who were scheduled to attend summer camp in California with dozens of classmates. Hospital officials said Sunday that two of the people who remained hospitalized in critical condition were paralyzed with spinal injuries, while another two showed "road rash" injuries consistent with being dragged.

    Foucrault, the coroner, said one of the bodies was found on the tarmac near where the plane's tail broke off when it slammed into the runway. The other was found on the left side of the plane about 30 feet (10 meters) away from where the jetliner came to rest after it skidded down the runway. Foucrault said an autopsy he expects to be completed by Monday will involve determining whether the second girl's death was caused by injuries suffered in the crash or "a secondary incident."

    He said he did not get a close enough look at the victims on Saturday to know whether they had external injuries.

    The flight originated in Shanghai, China, and stopped over in Seoul, South Korea, before making the nearly 11-hour trip to San Francisco.

    On audio recordings from the air traffic tower, controllers told all pilots in other planes to stay put after the crash. "All runways are closed. Airport is closed. San Francisco tower," said one controller.

    At one point, the pilot of a United Airlines plane radioed.

    "We see people ... that need immediate attention," the pilot said. "They are alive and walking around."

    "Think you said people are just walking outside the airplane right now?" the controller replied.

    "Yes," answered the pilot of United Flight 885. "Some people, it looks like, are struggling."

    When the plane hit the ground, oxygen masks dropped down, said Xu Da, a product manager at an Internet company in Hangzhou, China, who was sitting with his wife and teenage son near the back of the plane. He stood up and saw sparking - perhaps from exposed electrical wires - and a gaping hole through the back of the plane where its galley was torn away along with the tail.

    Xu and his family escaped through the opening. Once on the tarmac, they watched the plane catch fire, and firefighters hose it down.

    In the chaotic moments after the landing, when baggage was tumbling from the overhead bins onto passengers and people all around her were screaming, Wen Zhang grabbed her 4-year-old son, who hit the seat in front of him and broke his leg.

    Spotting a hole at the back of the jumbo jet where the bathroom had been, she carried her boy to safety.

    "I had no time to be scared," she said.

    Nearby, people who escaped were dousing themselves with water from the bay, possibly to cool burn injuries, authorities said.

    By the time the flames were out, much of the top of the fuselage had burned away. The tail section was gone, with pieces of it scattered across the beginning of the runway. One engine was gone, and the other was no longer on the wing.

     

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    Updated Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 8:40 p.m. ET
    Barbados, Tropical Storm Chantal
    A shuttered store is shown in a deserted street in downtown Bridgetown, as Tropical Storm Chantal approaches to the Caribbean island of Barbados, Tuesday, July 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Brandis)

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Tropical Storm Chantal threatened to turn into a hurricane while it churned toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti as authorities there and in Puerto Rico warned of possible landslides and heavy flooding.

    The storm was located about 220 miles (360 kilometers) southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico around 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph), and was moving west-northwest at 26 mph (43 kph).

    The center issued a hurricane watch for the Dominican Republic's southern coast, with the storm expected to be near or over the country by Wednesday afternoon. Chantal is then expected to be over the southeastern and central Bahamas on Thursday.

    Tropical Storm Chantal, FloridaDominican officials urged those living in low-lying areas to evacuate, but few paid heed.

    "We're sure nothing is going to happen," said Geovanny Batista, leader of an impoverished community in the capital of Santo Domingo built largely of wood, cardboard and zinc.

    "We can't just go and leave behind our belongings," he said. "Thieves will come and take them."

    Officials in Haiti encountered similar resistance despite repeated radio warnings.

    Street vendor Marc St. Juste said he was unaware a storm was coming, but upon learning the news, he decided to remain outside a bit, if only to sell a few more snow cones in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti's congested capital.

    "I'm going to go home as soon as possible," St. Juste said as he pushed his rickety wooden cart topped with frozen ice and colorful syrups. "But I'm still going to stay out to make as many sells as possible."

    Chantal could be near hurricane strength before it reaches Hispaniola, the island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Both countries are vulnerable to flooding and landslides from storms, but widespread deforestation and ramshackle housing in Haiti mean even moderate rains pose a significant threat.

    Haiti is already in the middle of its rainy season, with 279,000 people still living in grim settlements that popped up in the capital and elsewhere after the devastating 2010 earthquake.

    Meteorologists with AccuWeather also warned that the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico would be hard hit, given that some 13 inches (33 centimeters) of rain already have fallen in the capital of San Juan since June, nearly twice the normal rainfall for that period.

    "Much of the landscape is primed for excessive runoff and flooding," AccuWeather said.

    Chantal was expected to produce rain and strong winds in Puerto Rico, with gusts of up to 60 mph (96 kph) in southern and mountainous areas, Krizia Negron, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told The Associated Press. Chantal is expected to pass some 70 miles (113 kilometers) south of Puerto Rico early Wednesday, she said.

    At least 17 roads will be closed as a preventive measure in the southern mountainous town of Yauco, where some 30 percent of the population lives under zinc roofs, Mayor Abel Nazario told the AP.

    "When it rains a lot, a portion of the mountain comes down," he said. "That's always a concern."

    Officials in the southern mountain town of San German also warned of possible heavy flooding, given that six rivers run through it, said Mayor Isidro Negron.

    Meanwhile, in the popular southwest tourist town of Cabo Rojo, crews cleared branches and debris to prepare for heavy rainfall, said Milton Llitera, the town's emergency management director.

    "When this floods, it doesn't forgive," he told the AP.

    As of late Tuesday afternoon, a tropical storm warning was in effect for Puerto Rico, the entire coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos islands.

    A tropical storm watch was in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, Vieques and Culebra and central Bahamas.

    Up to eight inches (20 centimeters) of rain could fall in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic and Haiti.

    Chantal had raced through the eastern Caribbean early Tuesday, with officials in Dominica reporting that heavy winds ripped off the roofs of several homes. No injuries were reported there or anywhere else in the region.

    Chantal also forced Carnival Cruise Lines to change the itineraries of two of its ships, the Carnival Liberty and Carnival Victory, spokesman Vance Gulliksen said.

    RELATED ON SKYE: 30 Stunning Photos Revealing the Power of Hurricanes

     

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    A woman gets back into her flooded car on the Toronto Indy course on Lakeshore Boulevard in Toronto on Monday, July 8 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

    TORONTO (AP) - A severe thunderstorm caused flash flooding in Toronto, cutting power to at least 300,000 in Canada's largest city, shutting down subways, forcing some people to cling to trees and leaving about 1,400 passengers stranded for hours on a commuter train filled with gushing water.

    Canada's national weather service said some parts of the city had been drenched with more than 3.9 inches of rain in the Monday evening storm, easily beating the previous one-day rainfall record of 1.4 inches in 2008.

    Toronto police and firefighters used small inflatable boats to rescue commuters from a 10-car, double-decker commuter train that stalled in floodwaters that reached the lower windows. Murky brown water spilled through the bottom floor of the carriages, sending passengers fleeing to the upper decks

    Photos: Toronto Storm Creates Chaos
    A spokeswoman for the Ontario government's transit authority said power was shut off and the windows were cranked opened to provide ventilation. The train was carrying about 1,400 passengers during the Monday evening rush hour.

    "There's a full-on river on either side of us ... We. Are. Stuck. Hard," passenger Jonah Cait wrote on Twitter.

    Another passenger told the TV news network CP24 that she could see people clinging to trees after abandoning their cars on a flooded highway alongside the tracks.

    Police and firefighters used the inflatable boats to ferry all 1,400 passengers a short distance to higher ground. It took until about 12:30 a.m. to complete the rescue operation, about seven hours after it began. Passengers were transported to a nearby subway station to resume their trip home.

    Emergency officials said five or six people were treated at the scene for minor injuries, but no one required hospitalization.

    Ontario's regional public transit service said early Tuesday that the storm had left portions of track "completely under water" on several lines. It said the extent of the damage to the tracks was not yet known, but expected service Tuesday morning "to be impacted" and suggested passengers seek alternative ways to travel.

    All of Toronto's subway service was temporarily halted due to power and signal issues. Some stations were also flooded. Partial service later resumed but large parts of the system were still shut down. It was unclear if the subway system would be in full operation by Tuesday morning.

    The storm left the downtown core dotted with abandoned vehicles, some sitting in water up to their windows. One woman, in a T-shirt and shorts, dove head-first through the window of her marooned car before wading away in the thigh-deep currents.

    Porter Airlines canceled all flights out of the downtown airport due to power outages in the terminal Monday evening. It was not clear how many flights were affected.

    Local electric company Hydro One said about 300,000 people in the west end of the Greater Toronto Area were without power due to "significant flooding" at two transmission stations. The utility said although 30,000-to-40,000 people had their power restored, the amount of flooding was impacting its ability to complete the repairs.

    Toronto Hydro said on its Twitter page that approximately 35,000 of its customers remained without power early today, mainly in the west end. The utility said it was awaiting supply from Hydro One and that it could be as late as mid-morning before all of its customers had their electricity restored.

    Toronto's flash flooding comes two weeks after extensive flooding in Calgary turned parts of the western Canadian city into a lake and forced up to 100,000 Albertans from their homes. Three bodies were recovered during the floods.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Photos: Toronto Storm Creates Chaos

     

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    In this Saturday, July 6, 2013, aerial photo, the wreckage of Asiana Flight 214 lies on the ground after it crashed at the San Francisco International Airport, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The crash landing of a South Korean airliner in San Francisco has revived concerns that airline pilots get so little opportunity these days to fly without the aid of sophisticated automation that their stick-and-rudder skills are eroding.

    The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the accident, is a long way from reaching a conclusion as to its probable cause. While the focus of their investigation could still shift, information released by the board thus far appears to point to pilot error.

    What is known is that Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed short of its target runway Saturday at San Francisco International Airport in broad daylight under near-ideal weather conditions. The Boeing 777's engines are still being examined, but they appear to have been operating normally. And the flight's pilots didn't report any mechanical issues or other problems.

    But the plane was traveling far too slowly in the last half-minute before the crash, slow enough to trigger an automated warning of an impending aerodynamic stall.

    The wide-bodied jet should have been traveling at 158 mph as it crossed the runway threshold. Instead, the speed dropped to as low as 118 mph before the plane struck a rocky seawall short of the runway. The plane careened briefly and then pancaked down. Two of the 307 people on board were killed, and dozens more injured.

    The pilot, Lee Gang-guk, had a lot of flying experience but was still new to the plane, having clocked only 43 hours at the controls. He was supposed to be flying under the supervision of another experienced pilot. There were two more pilots on board the Seoul-to-San Francisco flight, as is typical on long flights during which two pilots rest while two fly, and then swap out.

    Lee was also flying without the aid of a key part of the airport's instrument landing system, which provides pilots with a glide slope to follow so that the plane isn't too high or low. He was also new to the airport, having never landed there before.

    And he was manually flying the plane with the autopilot shut off, which other pilots said is not unusual in the last stage of a landing, although some airlines prefer that their pilots use automated landing systems. Still unclear is whether the auto throttle, which regulates fuel to the engines to control speed, was shut off or perhaps unintentionally left in an idle mode. That might account for the slow speed, but it wouldn't explain why the pilots didn't recognize their peril and act in time to avoid the crash, pilots and aviation safety experts said.

    Investigators have started interviewing the flight's four pilots, and hope to wrap up those interviews Tuesday. Procedures at most airlines would require all four pilots be present in the cockpit during the landing, which is the most critical phase of flight, pilots said. The NTSB hasn't disclosed whether all four were present.

    "It sounds like they let the airplane get slow and it came out from under them," said John Cox, a former Air Line Pilots Association air crash investigator. "When airplanes are very slow like that, even if they are not stalled, they can develop a sink rate that it takes a lot of power to arrest."

    Rory Kay, a training captain for a major airline who flies internationally, said, "We're all wondering the same thing - why no reaction?"

    Overall, automation has also been a boon to aviation safety, providing a consistent precision that humans can't duplicate. But pilots and safety officials have expressed concern in recent years that pilots' "automation addiction" has eroded their flying skills to the point that they sometimes don't know how to recover from stalls and other problems. Dozens of accidents in which planes stalled in flight or got into unusual positions from which pilots were unable to recover have occurred in recent years.

    "If your last dozen landings were autopilot landings and here you are faced with nothing but visual (cues) to deal with, your rust factor would be greater," said Cass Howell, a former military pilot and human factors expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. "Too much automation can undermine your flying skills."

    RELATED ON SKYE: The World's Most Terrifying Airports

     

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    Smoke pouring from the fires in the Mount Charleston area west of Las Vegas created a fiery sunset on Monday July 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, Norm Clarke)

    LAS VEGAS (AP) - Two large wildfires raged Tuesday in Nevada, where firefighters worked to gain the upper hand on a mountain blaze near Las Vegas that kept hundreds of people from their homes and another southwest of Reno that jumped in size a day earlier.

    Meanwhile, a fire in Southern California destroyed a pair of mountain lodges Monday while a new fire near a rural Arizona community grew to 300 acres within a matter of hours, prompted evacuations and claimed at least one home.

    More than 750 firefighters, including 18 elite Hotshot crews, in Nevada were battling the Carpenter 1 Fire some 25 miles northwest of Las Vegas, said Jay Nichols, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area.

    Smoke from the 24-square-mile fire created a towering white cloud that stretched northeast, visible from downtown. The Clark County Department of Air Quality issued a health advisory that officials said would remain in effect today through Sunday.

    An influx of firefighters and equipment including bulldozers, seven helicopters, four air tankers and a DC-10 jet fire retardant bomber arrived in the area as crews in Arizona neared containment of a deadly blaze that killed 19 Hotshot firefighters near Yarnell on June 30 and another fast-moving fire in the state erupted farther south.

    Pinal County Deputy Chief Steve Henry said the new fire fueled by salt cedar trees along the San Pedro River bed outside the remote community of Kearny had burned a ranch-style home and two other structures. It also threatened the local airport in the town of some 2,000 residents.

    Residents of a trailer park were evacuated as a precaution after the fire was reported about 5 p.m. Monday. It was unclear how it started. The Arizona Republic reported (http://bit.ly/170Ocja) the fire had spread across 300 acres by late Monday.

    Temperatures in eastern Arizona where the fire sparked were expected to rise just above 100 degrees in the area Tuesday, but possible showers and thunderstorms would help firefighters' efforts.

    Henry said crews were expected to work through the night to make advances on the blaze.

    "I don't think they want to wait on the temperatures picking up in the morning," Henry said.

    The fire in California destroyed two lodges along a mountain road in rural San Diego County, burned at least six other structures and threatened dozens of cabins as it surged to more than 7 square miles in soaring heat that's expected to return Tuesday.

    In northern Nevada, the Bison Fire in the Pine Nut Mountains straddling the Douglas and Lyon county lines nearly doubled in size Monday from a day earlier as it burned through tinder-dry brush, dead trees and pinion-juniper forests. By afternoon the fire was estimated at 17,500 acres, or more than 27 square miles.

    The mountain range also stretches into Carson City. Late in the day, fire officials closed popular back-country roads leading from the state capital into the mountains because of the fire's path.

    The blaze broke out July 4 and firefighters initially hoped to have it contained Monday. But those ambitions were dashed Sunday when strong winds fanned the fire into an inferno that pushed to the northeast and created a towering, swirling smoke plume seen for miles.

    No homes have been lost, but officials said several old structures burned in the Slater Mine area.

    More than 700 firefighters battled winds, low humidity and steep terrain to clear fire breaks through grass, pinion and juniper.

    Firefighters lost ground Monday on both of the Nevada fires, which each were about 15 percent contained. Fire managers expecting crews to spend a week on both fire lines.

    No injuries were reported in the southern Nevada fire and no structures burned in the fire since it started July 1 on the west side of Mount Charleston near Pahrump and quickly spread east into rugged terrain reachable only on foot. Officials said Monday that some $2.4 million had already been spent fighting the fire.

    Mount Charleston is a popular weekend getaway, where summer temperatures can be 15 to 20 degrees cooler than in Las Vegas, which has sizzled in the triple digits for more than 10 days.

    More than 400 homes in Trout, Kyle, Lee, Harris Springs and Lovell canyons were evacuated during the weekend, along with a Clark County-run youth correctional camp that houses 98 teenagers at a mountain elevation of almost 8,500 feet above sea level. State highways 156 and 157 were closed into the canyons, and evacuation shelters were set up at schools in Las Vegas and Pahrump.

    Crews were also working to protect about 100 non-residential structures including barns, sheds and corrals, Nichols said.

    Daytime high temperatures on the mountain were expected to decrease over the next few days after peaking at 90 degrees on Saturday, but firefighters were hampered by gusty winds and humidity levels in the single digits.

    The fire, named Carpenter 1, was declared a top priority nationwide due to its size and the value of homes and structures at risk, said Suzanne Shelp, a Forest Service spokeswoman.

    "This fire, these last few days and going forward, is going to depend on the weather," Shelp said.

     

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