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Burned acreage climbs to 5,000 for Maple Canyon fire

By Shara Park | Posted - Sep. 1, 2011 at 12:24 p.m.

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(Photo: Utah Wildfire)BOX ELDER COUNTY -- A wildfire started by lighting in Box Elder County has burned well over 5,000 acres.

Firefighters say winds pushed the Maple Canyon fire north overnight. As of 12 p.m. Thursday, firefighters estimated they had it 55 percent contained.

A lighting strike started the fire around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday about 20 miles north of Promontory Point. In the early hours of this fire, it threatened a handful of structures near the Fort Ranch area. However, crews burned the areas surrounding those buildings and created a firebreak.

Jason Curry with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands said, "Firefighters responded to that by putting in what we call black line around those buildings to create a burn buffer, to protect the buildings from the oncoming flames."

Because of the high winds and low humidity, the fire continued to burn through the night. Ten engines put water on the flames while hand crews tried to control the fire lines.

Firefighters plan to double their efforts Thursday, which will include attacking the fire from the air.

"We're going to put some aerial observers on this one to get a little better estimate on size and get a map together," Curry said. "Then the helicopter will also be on scene dropping buckets to help out crews with hot spots."

More information will be posted as it becomes available.




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