Number of homes destroyed in Glass Fire reaches 600

The number of homes swallowed by flames in the Glass Fire that has raged for more than a week Sonoma and Napa counties reached 600 Tuesday morning, and the total is expected to grow as crews continue to survey damage in burn areas.

Cal Fire reported in its Tuesday morning incident update that in Sonoma County 310 homes were destroyed and 81 damaged. In Napa County, 290 were destroyed and 72 damaged.

Weather conditions were hot and dry Monday into Tuesday morning, but winds were calm and this allowed firefighters to increase containment to 50%. The size of the burn area didn’t grow overnight and still stands at 68,840 acres.

Evacuation orders were reduced to warnings Monday for a portion of Zone 6B2 in Sonoma County (find details here). On Sunday, orders were reduced to warnings in multiple communities, including Kenwood, Oakmont and Calistoga.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Sean Norman said in a Monday briefing that containment lines are strong in the fire’s east zone, including areas around the Highway 12 corridor, Santa Rosa and Oakmont. The steep, rugged terrain of Bear Creek Canyon in eastern Sonoma County remains an area of concern in the east zone. “That has been our Achilles’ heel on this part of the fire,” said Norman.

In Napa County, areas around Calistoga and above the Palisades going up to Highway 29 look secure, Norman said. “The fire has backed down to a lot of the agricultural in there and our troops are in there working,” he said.

The most troubling part of the fire remains in its northern tip around Mount St. Helena near the Lake County line. “When we look at this entire 65,000-acre fire, we’ve really crushed it down to just this little piece of maybe 4 miles of fire line we’re

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Salt Lake Temple renovation reaches ‘hardest stage’ with work on foundation underway

SALT LAKE CITY — Temple Square already looks vastly different than it did nine months ago when crews began the massive Salt Lake Temple renovation project.

Gone are the majority of temple add-ons constructed in the 1960s, such as the north side entrance, chapel and sealing room addition, and nearly all objects that were located in the space north and south of the temple. Other buildings, such as the South Visitors’ Center, were demolished in January.

There’s also a large pit surrounding the historic structure after crews created a retaining wall around it as they work to strengthen the temple’s foundation.

“The next stage is probably the hardest, where we work on strengthening the foundation by adding to the foundation,” said Andy Kirby, director of historic temple renovations for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in a video released by the church Sunday.

The story of the temple’s foundation

While crews work on shoring up the building for seismic activity, they also get an up-close view of the temple’s foundation. It’s the first time a majority of the foundation has been visible since additions were constructed more than 50 years ago.

The history of that foundation is about as unique as the temple’s entire construction story — a structure that took 40 years to complete after its 1853 groundbreaking ceremony.

The location of the temple itself was set aside on July 28, 1847, just four days after pioneers reached the Salt Lake Valley. The groundbreaking happened in 1853 with the cornerstones laid on April 6, 1853, as a part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ spring general conference.

A recap of the ceremony was recorded in an edition of the Deseret News published 10 days later. The ceremony included talks, prayers and music as the

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