Fire Restrictions Instituted Across Much of Utah

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- Fire restrictions were put into place Monday as firefighters made gains on most of the wildfires burning in Utah.

State and federal fire officials put the restrictions _ including banning the use of fireworks as the state observance of Pioneer Day approaches _ in place because of the high fire danger throughout much of Utah.

No fires will be allowed except campfires within approved fire pits, campgrounds and picnic acres. Devices fueled by petroleum or liquid propane gas are allowed.

Smoking is also prohibited except in vehicles, camp trailers or buildings, at developed recreation areas.

These restrictions apply to state of Utah, Bureau of Land Management and private lands in Tooele, Juab and Millard counties, and land west of Interstate 15 in Box Elder, Salt Lake, Utah, Beaver and Iron counties. National Forest land is not affected by the restrictions.

The prohibitions came as the state largest wildfire, the 15,000-acre West Gilson blaze burning in central Utah, was expected to be fully contained Tuesday.

The Dammeron Fire burning 12 miles north of St. George in southern Utah had grown to 7,000 acres Monday. It was actively burning to the east, into rugged areas of dense fuel like dead timber, but away from any community.

One uninhabited cabin was destroyed overnight but two others weren't damaged, fire spokesman David Boyd said.

The fire was battled by 400 firefighters and was 20 percent contained by Monday night.

Elsewhere in southwestern Utah, the 25-acre Straight fire three miles southwest of New Harmony was being battled by smoke jumpers and a helicopter, the 1,885-acre Frisco fire 10 miles northwest of Milford was 30 percent contained and the 414-acre Smith Mesa fire six miles north of Virgin was contained Monday night.

Authorities in Uintah County also reported directing a wildfire way from the tiny community of Dry Creek, about 3 miles northwest of Vernal. Five structures were threatened, but no losses were reported.

Firefighters in Grand County kept a 200-acre wildfire started by lightning Sunday from growing. The Hay Fire is burning north of Interstate 70 in the Book Cliff mountains.

''It looks like the guys are getting a pretty good handle on it,'' said fire spokeswoman Heather O'Hanlon. ''We've got luck on our side today.''

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