Southern Utah Fire Contained

Southern Utah Fire Contained

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Southern Utah fire crews contained the Red Cliffs fire Monday, a day after the 780 acre blaze forced authorities to close Interstate 15 to traffic.

Control of the fire was expected Tuesday.

Authorities were still trying to determine the cause of the fire, which started about 1:30 p.m. Sunday and kept the highway off-limits to travelers in both directions for about four hours, according to a news release from the Bureau of Land Management.

A second fire of unknown causes also started Sunday. The Grapevine fire was spotted seven miles west of Gunlock at about 7 p.m., but crews were able to contain it to just 20 acres.

In all, 25 fires have been triggered near St. George in the past five days. All but these two were caused by lightning strikes.

The two largest fires, the 3,000-acre North Gorge fire and the 1,200-acre Powerline fire were also contained on Sunday, the release states.

Ground crews, engines and air tankers have been used to attack the blazes.

Authorities are cautioning the public to use extreme caution with any fires or when driving off-road. A wet winter and spring rains have sprouted heavy, tall grasses, creating a lot of fire fuels. Low humidity and windy conditions also have increased the fire danger.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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