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Grass fire shuts down I-15 in Juab County for short time


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A grass fire in Juab County shut down Interstate-15 for a time today, and investigators believe sparks from a vehicle traveling on the freeway are to blame.

It was around 11:30 this morning when the call came in. The smoke and flames were causing problems along the freeway, so the Utah Highway Patrol closed the northbound lanes of I-15 between Mona and Santaquin until firefighters could get the fire under control.

In all, about 75 acres were burned, mostly grass and sagebrush, and firefighters kept the blaze from spreading into the forest lands on Mt. Nebo.

"The wind was just picking up as we arrived on scene, and we had multiple agencies from around the county arrive, and the BLM, that got on it and knocked it down fast before it got on the forest," said Fire Incident Commander Brett Ostler.

Just a few miles south of this fire is where a major fire started in 2001. That fire also started from sparks on the freeway and spread up into the forest.

Firefighters do say that the conditions keep getting worse as the summer drags on and the fire danger is getting higher. They are warning everyone to be careful, especially with so many people planning on spending time in the outdoors during the long holiday weekend.

E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com

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Sam Penrod

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