Thread: Utah 2004

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    Post Utah 2004

    ST. GEORGE (AP) - Storm lightning touched off a series of small
    wildfires in southern Utah Tuesday, including a 200-acre blaze in
    the same general area where more than 30,000 acres were burned in
    2003.
    The largest fire Tuesday was burning near the Shivwitz
    Reservation, where last year's Apex fire burned.
    Two helicopters and a single-engine tanker were fighting the
    fire while ground crews were battling the smaller blazes. No homes
    were being threatened and there were no evacuations, fire
    information officer David Boyd said.

    (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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    Talking Utah-2004 Update

    Utah Hill Fire


    INFORMATION
    Start Date: June 15, 2004
    Size: 640 Acres
    Location: 10 Miles west of St. George, UT
    Percent Contained: 0% (Fire-Use fire)
    Estimated Containment: N/A
    Cause: Lightning
    Terrain:
    Vegetation:
    Contact Phone No.
    Notes:
    Significant Events: Old Highway 91 is closed to traffic. Gunlock State Park is closed. Currently making progress utilizing Type 1 helicopters and SEATs.

    NEWS RELEASES
    Color Country Fire Management Area



    NEWS RELEASE

    June 15, 2004 Contact: David Boyd, Fire Information Officer
    (435) 688-3303, C: (435) 680-0814

    Lightning starts more than 25 fires in Color Country
    Utah Hill Fire near St. George burns 640 acres

    St. George – Lightning from numerous afternoon thunderstorms today started more than 25 fires in southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona. Only the Utah Hill Fire 10 miles west of St. George was larger than 2 acres by Tuesday night.

    The Utah Hill Fire burned 640 acres of pinyon/juniper less than one mile south of the Shivwits Indian Reservation and near last year’s Apex Fire burn. No homes or other structures are currently threatened. Two heavy helicopters, two single engine air tankers and four engine crews worked the fire during the afternoon. By evening two 20-person hand crews had arrived.

    Helicopters, smoke jumpers and other fire crews kept the many other fire starts throughout the region in check.

    Fire conditions in Color Country remain extreme. For information about fires in Utah, log onto www.utahfireinfo.gov or call (435) 865-4696 in Cedar City and (435) 688-3333 in St. George. For information about Arizona fires, log on to www.azfireinfo.com. Arizona Strip fire information is also available at (435) 688-3333.
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    Post Use common sense....officials say.

    By DOUG ALDEN
    Associated Press Writer
    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - With the hottest, driest stretch of summer
    ahead, state fire officials want people to think more about
    wildfire prevention.
    Using common sense, they said Wednesday, means not starting a
    campfire beneath a tree or in a dry, brushy area, not leaving
    campfires burning unattended and being careful with fireworks when
    celebrating the Fourth of July and Pioneer Day.
    "People have to think," state fire marshal Gary Wise said.
    Wise, Gov. Olene Walker and officials from the Utah Interagency
    Fire Information Center used a news conference to urge residents to
    use fire with caution.
    "We're living in a desert, but we're living in a desert that's
    had a six-year drought. This is going to be more serious than any
    other year that we've experienced in Utah," Walker said. "We
    simply have to educate people not to be careless."
    Utah had more than 1,600 wildfires last year, 91 of which
    consumed at least 1,000 acres. While most of the fires started
    naturally, many were caused by humans.
    A fire in Farmington Canyon last summer that burned more than
    1,900 acres was blamed on a man who has been ruled unfit because of
    a mental disability to stand trial for arson. That was one of 311
    human-caused fires, said Laura Williams, a Bureau of Land
    Management spokeswoman.
    "People can do a lot to prevent unwanted, human-caused fires,"
    Williams said. "Thinking their actions through ahead of time is
    going to save us acres and acres of scorched land."
    Campfires or discarded cigarettes can spark a fire that could
    burn for days or weeks. The fire center also released some causes
    people may not consider - like a tow chain dragging and creating
    sparks or a catalytic converter hot enough to ignite dry
    vegetation.
    Storm lightning sparked numerous small fires Tuesday in
    southwestern Utah, and about 640 acres near the Shivwits Indian
    Reservation had burned by Wednesday. Southern Utah hasn't received
    as much moisture as the north and is more vulnerable.
    But fire season in the north generally begins in mid-to-late
    July, said Kathy Jo Pollock, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman with
    the Interagency Fire Center.
    "We've had quite a bit of moisture, so right now the northern
    part of the state is better off than the central and southern
    parts," Pollock said. "Now if we get a lot of warm temperatures
    in the coming weeks, that could definitely change."
    ---
    On the Net
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    (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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    Post

    Rest in Peace Wayne!

    ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) - A fire complex responsible for 3,400
    charred acres, the death of a contract pilot from Montana and the
    evacuation of two dozen houses was contained Saturday, the Bureau
    of Land Management said.
    More than 400 firefighters battled the blaze, which involved two
    fires near St. George sparked Wednesday by lightning. Although the
    fire is contained, the BLM said smoke could billow from pockets of
    vegetation within the burned acreage for weeks.
    Federal investigators arrived Friday at the site of the fatal
    crash, but the investigation was expected to take several months.
    Wayne Turner, 58, from Big Sandy, Mont., was killed Thursday
    when his Dromader M-18 crashed after it dropped a load of
    retardant.
    Turner was a contract pilot working for New Frontier Aviation,
    based in Fort Benton, Mont.
    The plane was not one of the old, heavy, multiengine air tankers
    that the government has grounded out of safety concerns. The
    single-engine tankers are basically crop dusters retrofitted to
    drop water, retardant or seed.
    On Thursday, residents from two dozen homes in the town of
    Brookside, which is north of St. George, were allowed back to their
    homes after being evacuated the day before when flames burned
    close. The Brookside Fire was contained Thursday after burning
    about 60 acres.
    Another fire about 10 miles west of St. George, called the Utah
    Hill fire, was contained Wednesday after burning approximately 630
    acres.
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has said a grant is in
    place to cover 75 percent of the local and state firefighting
    costs.

    (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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    Post 16-Thousand acres on fire

    Additional Firefighters Battle St. George Blaze
    Jun. 28, 2004
    (Salt Lake City-AP) -- More than 500 firefighters from all over the country are battling the Square Complex Fire about 14 miles north of St. George.

    The U-S Bureau of Land Management says the blaze has charred about 16-thousand acres so far and it's threatening several unoccupied cabins.

    Firefighters will get help today from four firefighting helicopters, three single-engine air tankers and about 17 engines.

    Yesterday, strong winds hampered firefighters' efforts. B-L-M officials say today the conditions are more favorable with overcast skies and higher humidity, but that could change by this afternoon.

    They expect it to take at least four more days before the fire is contained.

    The blaze was started Friday by lightning.
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    Post July 11th

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Firefighters used a backfire to help
    contain a 200-acre blaze burning through cheat grass and shrubs
    south of Dugway and about 40 miles west of Salt Lake City.
    The blaze started about 5 p.m. Sunday and was believed to be
    human-caused.
    "We do not have somebody in custody, but somebody was seen
    leaving the scene," Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Susan
    Marzec said.
    Nine fire engines, three helicopters, an air tanker and two
    crews were assigned to the blaze, which was expected to be
    contained by Monday night.
    Elsewhere, a 500-acre lightning-caused fire near Vance Springs
    in the Needle mountains of northwest Beaver County still was
    burning somewhat within the control lines.
    "Vance (has) basically been declared out. We don't have anybody
    on it. We went out and checked and found a few smokes" on Sunday,
    said Wayne Hunt, assistant manager of the Cedar City Interagency
    Fire Center.

    (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

    APTV 07-12-04 0427EDT
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    Arrow Another St. George Fire Starts

    Firefighters Prepare to Battle 50-acre Blaze
    Jul. 22, 2004
    ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- Firefighters got ready to battle a 50-acre blaze burning in a rugged area 10 miles north of St. George.

    The Red Mountain Fire, burning in brush and juniper on rolling slopes, likely started Tuesday evening but did not begin actively burning until Wednesday afternoon, said David Boyd, Bureau of Land Management fire information officer.

    Two single-engine air tankers made numerous retardant drops.

    A small crew was taken in by helicopter Wednesday to prepare helicopter landing areas so 70 firefighters could be brought in Thursday, he said.
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    Red Mountain Fire contained

    ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) - The 50-acre Red Mountain Fire ten miles
    north of St. George has been declared contained.
    Bureau of Land Management spokesman David Boyd says firefighters
    aided by air tankers had a line around the brush fire by yesterday
    evening.
    The blaze was believed started by lightning Tuesday evening, but
    not begin to actively burn until Wednesday afternoon.
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    Post New St. George Fire

    Monday, July 26, 2004 - 12:00 AM |

    Fire near St. George forces campground evacuation

    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


    ST. GEORGE -- A campground near a wildfire in Washington County was evacuated over the holiday weekend as a precaution.

    Oaks Grove Campground was about 7 miles away from the fire, but campers were cleared out Saturday because there is only one road in and out of the area. The Jones Fire started Saturday afternoon and had spread to 500 acres by Sunday.

    Afternoon storms Sunday with strong winds were spreading the fire.

    "It has had some runs and that's where the increased acreage is going to be," said Maggie Dowd, a public affairs officer at Dixie National Forest.

    Dowd's Cedar City office was about 40 miles away from the fire and she said she could see the plume of smoke from her window, partly because the storm clouds were containing the smoke.

    More than 55 fires were burning Sunday in the Color Country fire district, but none were threatening any people or structures.

    "The good thing is fire crews are getting on these right away," Dowd said.
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    Talking Dateline-Update

    Crews fight to get upper hand on fire
    A lightning-caused fire continues to burn in Washington County, and firefighters don't believe they'll have a handle on it until Wednesday night.
    Washington County fire information officer said firefighters had the 705-acre Jones Fire about 10 percent contained Monday morning, Washington County fire information officer Maggie Dowd said.
    Lightning sparked the blaze Saturday afternoon, which is burning in high elevations in the Dixie National Forest about five miles west of Pintura, Washington County. By late that night, the fire had consumed 400 acres of mountain brush, Ponderosa pine, pinyon and juniper trees, Dowd said.
    By Sunday afternoon, the fire had burned 500 acres. High winds and intense thunderstorms caused the fire to spread throughout the night, Dowd said.
    "Yesterday's erratic winds mad it difficult for firefighters and air operations to get the upper hand," said Larry Leforte, incident commander for the Jones Fire.
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    Talking Fire Update

    Forest fire expected to be contained today
    PINTURA, Washington County — A 710-acre fire burning in high elevations of the Dixie National Forest was expected to be contained today.
    The fire was 80 percent contained on Tuesday and was expected to be 100 percent contained by 6 p.m., a Color Country Fire statement said. Crews were being released from the blaze Tuesday night.
    Much progress was made on the fire Tuesday because of rain and firefighter efforts, the statement said. More than 190 people were on the scene of the blaze, which is burning mountain brush, pinyon, juniper and Ponderosa pine trees about five miles from the town of Pintura.
    Lightning sparked the fire on Saturday. No structures have been threatened, although a nearby campground was evacuated, the statement said.
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    Post New Fire starts in Utah County

    Lightning sparks Maple Canyon fire
    MAPLETON — Lightning sparked a 30-acre blaze Tuesday afternoon in Maple Canyon near Ether Peak.
    Firefighters were still working late Tuesday to douse the blaze.
    Helicopters also are dumping water on the blaze, said Pam Ritchie, a spokeswoman for the fire fighting effort.
    The Ether Fire burned timber and grass four miles up the canyon on National Forest Service land, said Loyal Clark, a Forest Service spokeswoman.
    No structures were threatened, and Clark said high humidity and calm winds were aiding firefighters and an air tanker.
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    Talking Fire Update

    Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 12:00 AM |

    Nearly 200 to help douse Spanish Fork Canyon fire

    Todd Hollingshead DAILY HERALD


    Nearly 200 firefighters are expected to arrive today to help fight a 300-acre blaze that exploded in Spanish Fork Canyon near Sheep Creek after winds pushed flames into dry vegetation, the U.S. Forest Service said.

    The fire was at 10 acres earlier Friday and was 40 percent contained, but fierce winds blew the fire past containment lines.

    Officials got a call at 5 p.m. Thursday reporting the fire and sent 40 firefighters to the site, said Pam Ritchie, fire information officer for the Uinta National Forest.

    Friday afternoon's developments pushed the fire under some power lines in the area, blowing a transformer and causing lines to spark. Firefighters lost control of the fire, she said. By late Friday firefighters had the fire 10 percent contained.

    "The crews were able to go to their safety zones," Ritchie said.

    Before the breakout, firefighters from Weber Basin and Utah County worked the fire on the hill as two helicopters from the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service dumped water on the flames. Two air tankers and multiple crews were called in after winds blew up the fire, she said.

    "We're having to be really careful because it's rolling rock up there in the canyon," Ritchie said. "It's putting up a lot of smoke."

    The cause of the fire is probably carry-over lightning from storms earlier in the week, she said.

    Besides the power lines, no structures were immediately threatened by the flames, officials said.

    "The concerns that we have are with the power lines near where the helicopters are dipping," Ritchie said. "The water and the smoke both carry electricity so we have to be careful."

    Helicopters retrieved water from a 6,000-gallon tank crews had hauled up the canyon and placed at a flat area just off the highway. Thursday night, crews dipped from a pond on the south side of the highway, forcing officials to close traffic for 10 minute segments as the choppers crossed over the roadway.

    Friday, an air attack plane was also on hand, coordinating the helicopter operations.

    To provide rest and meal breaks for crews between shifts, a 12-tent fire camp has been set up at Spanish Fork's Canyon View Park at the mouth of the canyon.

    Leftover resources from the 30-acre Maple Canyon fire earlier this week have aided with the firefighting, Ritchie said.

    Despite recent blazes, there have been fewer fires this summer than last summer, she said. Fire restrictions had already been put in place at this time last year.

    "The rain has definitely helped this year," Ritchie said. "If we didn't get rain for three or four weeks than I would say maybe the restrictions would be set by late August, but if we keep getting rain, than no. It's totally weather dependent."

    Officials did not close traffic at any time in the canyon Friday to fight the fire.
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    Post 5000 acreeeee fire burns in Utah also

    Firefighters monitor 5,000-acre blaze

    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


    ENTERPRISE -- Firefighters watched, but did not battle, three lightning-caused fires burning through pinyon, juniper and sagebrush on 5,000 acres in southwestern Utah.

    The fires are burning in an area that officials had planned to burn anyway.

    "If you can have Mother Nature do it, that is a very effective way of doing it, a very cost-effective way to do it," said David Boyd, fire information officer for Color Country Fire Management Group.

    The fires started Wednesday evening 12 miles southwest of Enterprise in the Dixie National Forest.

    The Hawkins 1, Hawkins 2 and Pine Park fires are now being handled collectively as the West Zone Complex Fire.

    No private property or structures were threatened.

    Boyd said the fire was burning in a good pattern -- clearing certain sections but leaving others intact.

    "If we can open up some of the habitat it makes it good for wildlife. It makes it good for livestock," he said.

    It is expected that the fire will continue to increase in size over the next several days.

    If the fire exceeds management objectives or smoke thresholds, firefighters will begin actively battling it.

    A 20-member fire crew and three engines were on the site Thursday, making sure it remains west of the General Steam Road to Enterprise Reservoir.
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    Angry WOW

    Unmitigated Blaze Burns Out of Control
    Jul. 31, 2004
    ENTERPRISE, Utah (AP) -- A lightning-sparked wildfire that officials initially allowed to burn has spread out of control in southwestern Utah.

    The Westside Fire Complex has now consumed 16,000 acres in the Dixie National Forest and threatens structures and homes.

    Firefighters didn't initially battle the blazes because they started in an area officials had planned to burn anyway.

    However, fire officials yesterday morning began trying to suppress the larger fire, which has consumed 12-thousand-500 acres.

    Eight homes near Enterprise were evacuated, but firefighters using backfires and two heavy airtankers kept the structures safe.
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    Talking Video of Spanish Fork Fire

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    Talking photo of Southern Utah Fire

    Photo
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    Talking Spanish Fork Fire Update

    Monday, August 02, 2004 - 12:00 AM |

    Sunday's rainstorm keeps Spanish Fork fire from expanding

    Justin Hill DAILY HERALD


    The Red Bull Fire in Spanish Fork -- which had spread the previous two days -- stood at a virtual standstill Sunday with some help from Mother Nature.

    Red flag warnings, high, gusting winds and dry lightning were predicted for Sunday. Instead, rain accompanied the lightning, the humidity increased and the temperature dropped, said Kathy Jo Pollock, an interagency fire information officer.

    "It's just sitting there," she said. "It hasn't moved."

    Containment of the fire remained at 10 percent as did the estimation of Thursday for full containment.

    A mapping flight Sunday morning provided a more accurate assessment of the fire's size, putting it at 1,781 acres. The fire was estimated at 1,000 acres Saturday -- more than triple the earlier figure of 300 acres.

    As of Sunday night, no injuries had been reported, and no structures were threatened, though power poles and a repeater on Teat Mountain were close to the fire, Pollock said.

    A reconnaissance flight is expected today, which will determine how firefighters will resume battling the blaze.

    The fire received a manpower boost late Saturday night and early Sunday morning with the arrival of three Type I hotshot crews.

    Two bulldozers, meanwhile, were building a fire line Sunday roughly a half-mile from the perimeter of the fire that can be used to get firefighters into inaccessible areas.

    Approximately a half-inch of rain fell in Spanish Fork Canyon in an hour, said David James, Brigham Young University weather station overseer. More showers were forecast for Sunday night, he said.

    Thunderstorms will likely form again today and tonight but drier air will return to the area Tuesday, James said.

    A second fire, the Genola Fire in south Utah County, burned around 15 acres Sunday.

    The Red Bull Fire forced the closures of several trails in the area. Sheep Creek Canyon Road is closed as is Monks Hollow Trail from Diamond Fork Road to Long Hollow Trail. Rough Hollow Trail is closed from Highway 6 to Teat Mountain. Part of Dry Canyon Road is also closed.

    People can still go into Diamond Fork, and Highway 6 was still open Sunday.
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    Talking Southern Utah Fire Update

    Rain helps keep Dixie fires from spreading

    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


    ENTERPRISE -- Two southwestern Utah wildfires continued to burn Sunday, although rain from a morning storm helped keep them from spreading.

    The Hawkins Fire damage stood at about 34,300 acres while the nearby Pine Park fire had burned roughly 5,000 acres, fire information officer Maggie Dowd said.

    The rain was slight, but with cool temperatures, firefighters were able to keep up suppression efforts and minimize the damage Sunday. The Hawkins Fire remained at just 5 percent contained and Dowd said it was unclear how long it would take to get it under control.

    "The primary source of what's driving it is the dry fuels out there. The pinon juniper is just being consumed," Dowd said. "It's just so dry."

    No homes or people have been threatened so far by the fires.

    Firefighters had been letting the smaller of the two fires burn, but it was within 3.5 miles of the larger blaze and crews started suppressing it as well. Dowd said safety for firefighters, who would have been fighting one fire with another at their backs, was the primary concern.

    "It was just too dangerous to allow Pine Park to burn without some containment," she said.
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    Talking Update

    Hawkins Fire Expected to be Contained by Late Friday
    Aug. 5, 2004
    ENTERPRISE, Utah (AP) -- The Hawkins Fire was expected to be fully contained by Friday night.

    Firefighters were extinguishing any hot spots they found on the northwest corner of the fire Thursday, and other areas were being mopped up and monitored.

    Bureau of Land Management officials said crews and equipment started to leave the fire area Thursday. More than 700 personnel helped fight the fire that burned 35,234 acres.

    The Burned Area Response Team was in place, and was making plans for seeding, erosion mitigation and other rehabilitation work.

    The nearby Pine Park Fire also was 90 percent contained as of late Wednesday, as it has been for days, and was only being monitored from the air.

    The two blazes were started by lightning July 28 and the Pine Park Fire was burning in an area that had planned to be burned anyway. The fires were burning in pinon, juniper, oakbrush and sagebrush.
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    Talking Fire Contained

    Firefighters contain 35,000-acre blaze
    ENTERPRISE, Washington County — The 35,000-acre Hawkins Fire near Enterprise has been contained.
    Peter D'Aquanni, fire information officer, said only about 100 crew members are now working to extinguish the final hot spots of the blaze started by lightning July 28. At one time it engaged nearly 700 people and came within a mile of eight Enterprise homes.
    The fire was allowed to spread over such a large area as a "Wildland Use Fire" to burn dead or aging vegetation and allow new growth, said a Bureau of Land Management press release.
    Pinyon and juniper trees that were killing nutritious grasses, forbs and brush for deer were the main fuel for the blaze, along with dead oak brush and sagebrush.
    The mosaic of cleared spaces from the fire will be seeded with a variety of species favorable for wildlife forage, the release stated.
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    Angry Small Saratoga Springs Fire

    Gunshots may be cause of fire
    SARATOGA SPRINGS — A small fire on Bureau of Land Management land was contained Saturday afternoon after being started by possible sparks from gunshots.
    Gun enthusiasts often enjoy target shooting in the area.
    The fire, estimated at 2 acres, was contained by ground crews and did not require helicopter assistance, officials said.
    The fire was 90 percent contained within two hours of being reported to police dispatchers. Dry conditions have contributed to many fires recently, and fire officials continue to warn individuals of the necessity to be cautious of starting fires.
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    Post Fire Rips thru Centrol Utah

    Juab County Fire 20 Percent Contained
    Aug. 11, 2004
    (KSL News) A fire continues to tear through parts of Juab County this morning.

    The Salt Creek Fire near Levan has charred 15 hundred acres, and is 20 percent contained.

    Crews say the blaze has grown in the last two days and recent hot, dry weather has increased fire danger.

    Karen Feary/ Fire Information Officer: "With this drying trend we've had, especially for the next week, everything is really dry, especially high elevation grasses. So if we are going to get a fire now, it would potentially be a larger fire."

    Close to 100 firefighters are battling the flames. More are expected to come to Levan sometime today.

    Authorities say the fire may be fully contained in the next few days.

    Video News Report:

    http://tv.ksl.com/index.php?nid=8&sid=112171
    Last edited by UTFFEMT; 08-11-2004 at 04:12 PM.
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    Angry New Fire Erupt in Southern Utah

    Lightning starts new fires in southern Utah

    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


    ST. GEORGE -- Lightning has started several fires in Southern Utah, including a 2,000-acre blaze 30 miles
    northwest of St. George, called the Middle Ridge Fire.

    A 45-acre blaze, called the Mineral Fire, was about eight miles east of Zion National Park near Mount Caramel Junction.

    Both fires were started by lightning Wednesday afternoon and were burning in brush, pinon and juniper on Bureau of Land Management property,
    interagency fire information
    officers said.

    Both burned within one-half mile of unoccupied outbuildings.

    The Middle Ridge Fire was moving northeast toward areas recently burned by the Hawkins and Pine Park fires, which will act as fire breaks.

    It was about three miles away from these areas late Wednesday.

    More than 75 fire fighters, aided by three air tankers and five engines, were on the Middle Ridge Fire and about 20 fire fighters, five engines, an air tanker and a helicopter were assigned to the Mineral Fire.

    Meanwhile, the Salt Creek Fire nine miles south of Levan was about 20 percent contained late Wednesday, with full containment expected by Saturday.

    The fire remained at about 1,500 acres. There were 263 people assigned and three more crews were to join the effort, bringing the total to about 325.

    The fire was started by lightning last week, but was not discovered until Monday.
    Front line since 1983 and still going strong

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    Default More Fires

    Lightning sparks wildfires

    More than 30 blazes sparked in southern Utah
    By Pat Reavy
    Deseret Morning News

    Thunderstorms accompanied by frequent lightning sparked more than 30 wildfires in southern Utah Thursday night.
    More than 50 residents were forced to evacuate about 7 p.m. after lightning started a fire that threatened the small town of Central, Washington County, about 25 miles north of St. George.
    That 54-acre fire, called the Cal Hollow fire, was expected to be contained by Friday night. Evacuated residents were allowed back into their homes by 11 p.m. Thursday.
    The majority of fires sparked by lightning Thursday night grew to no more than three acres, said Bureau of Land Management Fire Information Officer David Boyd. Some fires probably weren't even reported, he said. One fire burning about 12 miles northeast of St. George was about 40 acres by Friday afternoon.
    Elsewhere in southern Utah, 50 mph winds preceding a string of thunderstorms caused some tense moments in the Middle Ridge fire near the Nevada border. The fire that started Wednesday was pushed to more than 1,500 acres, Boyd said.
    A government pickup truck with mechanical problems was destroyed by the fire. No firefighters were injured.
    But after the winds passed, the humidity rose, and some areas actually got rain, assisting firefighters.
    "Some areas actually got quite a bit of rain," he said. "That was a big help."
    In Juab County, the Salt Creek fire, burning nine miles south of Levan, was 85 percent contained Friday night, and crews were being released, according to a news release from the Richfield Interagency Fire Center. The fire, which was sparked by lightning on Monday, has burned 1,483 acres.
    The other main fire that was burning in southern Utah was the 125-acre Mineral fire east of Zion National Park. Boyd said crews were able to contain that fire Thursday night. Although it threatened several homes early, no structures were damaged.
    Front line since 1983 and still going strong

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