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Brian Head wildfire in Utah doubles in size, prompting evacuations

PAROWAN, Utah -- A massive wildfire in Brian Head, Utah, continues to grow as wind and scorching temperatures fan the flames, prompting evacuations of residents on the fifth day of the fire.

CBS affiliate KUTV-TV in Salt Lake City reports the blaze has grown to 8,000 acres. The fire started Saturday and has steadily increased in size amid high winds and temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. The blaze covered 3,000 acres on Wednesday.

Temperatures were expected to be much lower Thursday. 

The Garfield County Sheriff ordered evacuations Wednesday night for the Beaver Dam, Clear Creek and Horse Valley areas, KUTV reports.

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The blaze in Brian Head, Utah, was fueled by wind and temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. D.J. Bolerjack / KUTV

The fire was 15 percent contained as of Thursday morning, fire officials told KUTV. More than 500 firefighters are involved in fighting the blaze, using 27 fire engines and nine helicopters.

Mark Struthwolf, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City, told KUTV the heat and wind were major factors contributing to the blaze's growth.

Brian Head is a resort town located about 220 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, attracting about 1,000 visitors on an average weekend, the town manager told KUTV

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert toured the area Tuesday, saying he was shocked more homes had not been lost in the blaze. The fire started on Saturday and officials determined it was human-caused.

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