Gusty winds persist, spreading fires in western U.S.

(Reuters) – Prime conditions for wildfires prevailed again on Wednesday in the western United States, where firefighters are battling to gain control over several large blazes that have forced the evacuation of more than 4,400 homes.

The largest and most threatening blaze, the 416 Fire, has scorched nearly 26,000 acres (10,522 hectares) of drought-parched grass, brush and timber at the edge of the San Juan National Forest near the southwestern Colorado town of Durango.

Wind gusts up to 25 miles per hour (40 kph), temperatures in the mid 80s (about 30 Celsius) and humidity of less than 15…

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