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Trailer homes destroyed in Patch Springs Fire, other fires rage across state


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TERRA, Tooele County — The Patch Springs Fire grew to 33,000 acres Friday, leading to evacuations in the little town of Terra and destroying at least eight trailer homes.

The trailer homes are the first structures lost to the fire, which was sparked by lightning Aug. 10. All of the homes were in the Willow Springs area, which was evacuated about 6 p.m. Thursday.

Several of the evacuated Willow Springs residents took refuge at a church outside Dugway Proving Ground until the fire knocked out power, moving them to Grantsville High School.

Their neighbors in Terra were evacuated about 5 p.m. Friday when the fire crossed to the south side of state Route 199. The Bureau of Land Management's Clover Springs Campground was also evacuated.

The BLM reported the fire was about 20 percent contained Friday.

Firefighters battling the blaze were receiving air support again Friday after it had been pulled to support crews at the Rockport Fire in Summit County earlier in the week, fire officials said.

BLM spokeswoman Joanna Wilson said it remained unclear whether continuous air support would have made a difference fighting the fire.

"We did put down a lot of air support — the retardant on the ground — and it actually burned right through that retardant," Wilson said. "So it's hard to say whether that air support would have helped or not."

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Wilson said fire crews had experienced some success halting the progress of the fire at the south end by executing a "back-burn" near state Route 199. The road remained closed Friday as fire crews continued to use it to stage their operations.

More evacuations were possible over the weekend, Wilson said, but they would primarily affect cabins and camp areas in South Willow Canyon. Wilson said that is a popular area for archery hunters, and several people had campground reservations for the weekend. It remained unclear Friday afternoon if those evacuations would go into effect.

Wilson said barring heavy rains this weekend, the fire could continue to burn for days.

"Our main focus right now is the safety of those residents, those cabins, the public, our firefighters and just letting people know where the fire is, where they should and shouldn't be," she said. "Please use caution when you're in those areas. Stay away from the fire. Don't go near the fire. If you feel uncomfortable, get out."

222 Fire

A wildfire erupted just before 1 p.m Thursday in the Maple Mountain area southwest of Eureka and quickly grew. Original estimates put the fire at roughly 175 acres, but the BLM reported Wednesday the 222 Fire had grown to 1,600 acres.

No known structures were threatened, and crews reported 5 percent containment Friday.

Crews from Juab County and the BLM were originally called in, and a Type 3 team took over Friday morning. This is the 222nd fire the BLM has responded to this year.

Millville Fire

Crews battling the Millville Fire in Cache County worked through Thursday night and reported success Friday in suppressing burning debris close to the road.

Evacuations put into place remained in effect along a segment of the Blacksmith Fork road and an area along the Left Hand Fork road. Structures are threatened within that area, and deputies evacuated cabins and campgrounds. No subdivisions at the mouth of the canyon were evacuated.

About 2,800 acres have burned and the fire was 30 percent contained. More than 190 personnel were battling the Millville Fire, which started Sunday morning by lightning.

Trails in the Left Hand Fork, Richards Hollow, Herd Hollow and Gray Cliff springs areas were closed.

State Fire

The State Fire near Portage, Box Elder County, had burned 29,335 acres and remained 70 percent contained Friday. The fire began Aug. 8.

The lightning-caused fire north of Portage and southwest of Malad, Idaho, was being fought by 375 personnel and has burned private property in Box Elder County, Pocatello Valley and BLM land in Idaho.

Varying wind speeds, high temperatures and low humidity fueled active fire behavior. As the fire burned through the afternoon, that behavior became extreme, creating a large smoke plume and several "fire whirls."

Tank Fire

The Tank Fire is 50 percent contained and crews are focusing on mopping up "interior islands" left in its wake. It has burned 94 acres in Spanish Fork Canyon in Utah since lightning sparked it Sunday.

Grace Fire

Started by lightning on July 16, the Grace Fire is in a "contained and confined" situation, as it is allowed to burn naturally to improve areas of the Dixie National Forest about 12 miles north of Escalante. The fire has shown little growth after burning just shy of a month and has consumed an estimated 245 acres.

Mount Elmer Fire

The Mount Elmer Fire, located southeast of Mount Elmer in the Mount Naomi Wilderness Area about 10 miles northeast of Logan, was ignited by lightning Aug. 9. The fire exhibited significant smoke Wednesday and was easily visible from Logan. The fire is not yet staffed due to higher priority fires elsewhere, but the Forest Service is monitoring the blaze.

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McKenzie Romero

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