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450-acre brush fire spurs Santaquin Canyon Road closure

By Ben Lockhart | Posted - Aug. 24, 2015 at 10:22 p.m.


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SANTAQUIN, Utah County — A 450-acre brush fire at the mouth of Santaquin Canyon forced the closure of the canyon road Monday as police warned nearby residents to be prepared in case evacuations were necessary.

Firefighters battled the blaze from the air and the ground. Fire crews from the Uintah Wasatch Cache National Forest, Santaquin Fire Department and multiple other agencies in Utah County were called to assist.

The Santaquin Police Department announced on Twitter that the city's residents should avoid the area and be prepared in case evacuations were necessary. Late Monday night, officials said no immediate evacuations were planned.

The fire was about 2 miles from the nearest homes, but winds were pushing the flames away from those homes, Santaquin police said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Monday.

The fire was first announced as 200 acres but continued to spread Monday evening. Firefighters had contained just 5 percent of the fire's growth as of about 9 p.m., said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Reid Shelley.

The fire was concentrated at the mouth of the canyon but also crept up slightly onto the mountainside.

Dry and windy conditions fueled the fire's growth.

Another wildfire just northeast of Alpine scorched 3 acres, fire officials said. The blaze was reported a short distance from Horsetail Falls around 4:30 p.m.

Lone Peak Fire Chief Brad Freeman said no homes were actively threatened by the fire, but noted his fire district's resources to fight the blaze were strained because some units were helping other agencies fight the wildfire in Santaquin Canyon.

Contributing: Brianna Bodily

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Ben Lockhart

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