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National Forest Closed Due to Wildfire

National Forest Closed Due to Wildfire

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NEOLA, Utah (AP) -- Federal authorities are closing Ashley National Forest tonight as firefighters continue to fight a fast-moving wildfire that has killed three people and burned more than 46 square miles in northeast Utah since Friday.

Louis Haynes, a spokesman for Ashley National Forest and the fire command post, says the fire is about 5 percent contained and is expected to continue to grow on Sunday.

The fire began spreading into the forest Sunday afternoon, prompting federal authorities to close it to public use.

Haynes said authorities would search for anyone camping or hiking in the forest and evacuate them.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said about 300 people are under a mandatory evacuation. FEMA says another 150 homes in Dryfork Canyon, about 8 miles northeast of the fire, could be in danger of burning by Tuesday.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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