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Several wildfires burning across Utah

Several wildfires burning across Utah

(Carol Dyer)



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KAMAS — Wildfires continued to burn thousands of acres of land across the Beehive State Saturday.

Among the more active is the Box Canyon Fire, which has scorched nearly 4,000 acres. It has been fanned by unstable weather systems over the past two days that have brought heavy winds into the area, increasing the fire’s activity.

Firefighting efforts were focused along the blaze’s northwest perimeter in Smith and Morehouse Canyon, within two miles of Ledgefork campground, according to a news release from the U.S. Forest Service. A ground crew was working to protect the campground and a helicopter was also working the area with bucket drops.

As a precautionary measure, engine crews were also assembling a sprinkler system in the campground, and additional structural protection was being provided for a historic guard station and another wood structure there.

A local team took over management of the fire with four engines and the Black Hills Wildland Fire Module also assigned to the fire. An additional helicopter and a 20-person crew were expected to arrive late Sunday, officials said.

Ledgefork campground, Smith and Morehouse boat ramp, and Mud Lake Flats were closed, along with the Smith and Morehouse Trail and Erickson Basin. Other area campgrounds remained open, though air quality at Smith and Morehouse campground may be affected by smoke.

• A break in the weather limited the growth of the Peterson Hollow Fire to just 15 additional acres Saturday and the fire was 20 percent contained. The total acreage burned to date is 1,157, with 290 firefighting personnel assigned to suppress the flames, with more resources en route, a release stated.

The fire was progressing east and northeast, remaining active on both sides of Sink Hollow. Firefighters were working to keep the fire east of the Peterson Hollow Drainage, north of Beaver Mountain and west of Beaver Creek.

The Peterson Hollow fire is located approximately six miles northwest of Garden City and north of the Beaver Mountain Ski Resort off Highway 89. While the communities near Bear Lake were not threatened Saturday, homeowners were advised to take action to help firefighters by creating defensible space around homes and structures. Visit http://www.firewise.org for more information.

The cause of the fire — which was sparked on Aug. 21 — was still under investigation.

On Friday, three new wildfires started in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and each is under investigation. No structures were being threatened late Saturday.

• The Davenport Fire — the largest of the three at 120 acres — is located in the northeast portion of the Stansbury Mountains on the Salt Lake Ranger District. The Davenport trailhead was closed due to fire activity. The blaze was burning in sage, grasses and juniper. Crews are expected to make significant progress in the coming days, a release states.

• The Twin Peaks Fire is approximately 15 miles south of Heber City and about eight miles northeast of Strawberry Reservoir on the Heber-Kamas Ranger District. The fire was estimated to be between 8 and 15 acres and was burning in timber. No closures were in place.

• The Willow Creek Fire is located about eight miles south of Strawberry Reservoir in the Willow Creek drainage. The fire was burning in a concentration of standing dead trees and was being monitored by firefighters, a release stated.

Jasen Lee

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