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Lost Lake wildfire, 3 others proving difficult to fight

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SALT LAKE CITY — Three wildfires have formed a triangle of smoke and flames around several southern Utah communities, and a fourth deadly fire is still smoldering along the Utah-Nevada border.

Lost Lake Fire

Twenty-three hundred acres and counting; the Lost Lake Fire has been burning since Sunday. Now, three days later, fire crews say the blaze is still at zero containment.

"It's just the beginning of the fire season and we're already seeing extreme conditions," said Brandon Hoffman, fire operations manager for the Lost Lake fire.

He took KSL News to the front lines, where there is ash everywhere, burned trees and some hot spots still burning. "The winds took the fire where they wanted to take it," he said.

Three homes just outside of Teasdale were evacuated, but two of them are summer cabins and were not occupied. The wind kept the flames burning in the opposite direction, and then they almost died down completely late Wednesday afternoon.

"It was amazing," Hoffman said. "Once the winds died down, the fire actually mellowed out to where we could put people in there safely."

Fire officials held a community meeting in Bicknell Wednesday night to let residents know what they were doing, and to hear what concerns those residents might have. Close to 100 people showed up.

"Probably my biggest concern is people who have asthma," said Wayne County resident April Torgerson. "I have a friend who has a little girl who has asthma, and she had to go and stay in Loa at her mom's (house)."

For now, crews are just trying to extinguish as much of the fire as they can before the predicted heavy winds pick up again later this week. And as always, with as dry as it is, they're asking people to be careful with their fires.

"I can't stress enough how people need to think about if they are going to have a campfire or where they are going to put it," Hoffman said.

The cause of the Lost Lake Fire is still being investigated.

Box Creek Fire

The Box Creek Fire, which is about nine miles northeast of Marysvale, has burned 700 acres with no containment. There is no estimation on when the fire will be contained, according to a Fishlake National Forest news release.

Early Wednesday morning, the wildfire burned close to some summer cabins. But fire crews say the wind pushed it in another direction before they were damaged.

Lake Creek Fire

A third fire near Boulder and Escalante has now burned about 1,100 acres.

The Lake Creek Fire first broke out late Monday morning - and was likely caused by humans. About 120 firefighters are trying to bring fire under control. As of Wednesday evening, it was 30 percent contained.

Fire crews say no private property or structures are being threatened right now.

White Rock Fire

Despite high winds, firefighters reached 40 percent containment of the White Rock Fire, which claimed the lives of two firefighters when their airtanker crashed.

Total containment of the 6,925-acre fire burning on the Utah-Nevada border is expected by June 10, according to Kidd's Great Basin Incident Management Team.

“Although we saw some growth in the northeast portion of the fire, suppression resources were strategically placed and we were able to get a line around the most of the perimeter last night,” Incident Commander John Kidd said.

Contributing: Jeff Finley



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