S. Utah Fire Burns More Than 22,000 Acres

S. Utah Fire Burns More Than 22,000 Acres

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Two juveniles are being investigation in the Apex Fire in southwestern Utah, which started Saturday and has burned over 22,000 acres.

"Two 16-year olds were out on motorcycles and horsing around with matches," Washington County Sheriff Kirk Smith told the Deseret Morning News on Monday.

Erratic winds spurred the fire's growth on Monday, but the blaze was burning away from the Shivwits Reservation and the town of Ivins.

On Sunday night, a voluntary evacuation of the Shivwits Reservation was recommended, but it was withdrawn on Monday, said Bureau of Land Management fire information officer Jodi Hamel.

The fire had passed within two miles of about 14 homes at Shivwits, but bulldozers created a fire break around them on Monday, fire information officer David Baker said.

The blaze was being fought by 204 people, aided by nine engines, three bulldozers, eight water tenders and air support.

The fire was about 10 miles west of St. George and burning primarily in pinon-juniper and light shrubs on federal, state and private land. The fire was burning to the north and west on Monday.

The fire has damaged 27 poles owned by Utah Power in the Beaver Mountain.

There was no projected time of containment.

Elsewhere, the 100-acre fire in Finn Canyon 18 miles west of Price had been 90 percent contained by later Monday.

The Wooden Shoe fire in the Dark Canyon Wilderness Area of the Abajo Mountains 25 miles west of Blanding in southeastern Utah grew from 550 acres Sunday night to 750 acres as of Monday night.

Becky Barrett of the Moab Interagency Fire Center said there were 38 firefighters on the blaze, including eight smoke jumpers who were to return home Tuesday.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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