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Wildfires spread in Sevier, Wasatch counties

(Sevier County Sheriff's Office)

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RICHFIELD, Sevier County — A large wildfire that broke out Tuesday afternoon closed State road 25 and caused evacuations at nearby summer homes, officials said.

The fire, which is in the Quakehaven/Quakie Holly area, shut down more than five miles of state Route 25 from the basin of Fishlake to state Route 24, according to Sheriff Nathan Curtis with Sevier County. Route 25 was reopened late Tuesday night.

Just a handful of people were evacuated from the summer homes, some of which were damaged, including sheds. The Sevier County Sheriff's Office reported late Tuesday night that two cabins were destroyed in the Sleepy Hollow area.

Curtis said the earlier winds were not helping the situation, but as of about 10:40 p.m. it was snowing in the area, which was helping the fire stop from spreading.

The fire is estimated to be about 100 acres. The cause of the fire is currently unknown, and the investigation is ongoing, according to the Sevier County Sheriff's Office.

Fire crews from Sevier, Wayne and Piute Counties responded to the fire. Water trucks from Salina and Monroe were also called. The U.S. Forest Service is bringing some of their resources from Nephi, Juab, Kanab and Cedar City to the scene. Due to the early time of year, the service is having to bring the resources in "from all over the place," Curtis said.

Strawberry Reservoir Fire

In Wasatch County, two fires were raging north of Strawberry Reservoir early Tuesday evening.

The fires were ignited by downed power lines that fell because of high winds, said Wasatch Fire District Lt. Janet Carson. One of the fires was just north of U.S. 40, a few miles from the Duschene County border, and had grown to about 450 acres shortly before 8 p.m.

There are 98 cabins on the other side of the highway, but the blaze did not jump the road, Carson said, and the winds were pushing the fire in the opposite direction. She added the structures could be threatened if the wind changes direction.

A second fire across from the salmon ladders grew to about 12 acres as of 8 p.m. but was not a threat to any homes or other structures.

At first officials thought there were three fires because of smoke patterns, but later determined there were only two. Both fires are located within 2 to 3 miles of each other.

As of about 8 p.m., most crews were pulled since the fires were moving toward higher elevations where there was still snow on the ground, according to officials with the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

Contributing: Andrew Adams and Geoff Liesik


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