Wildfire Grows to 22,000 Acres

Wildfire Grows to 22,000 Acres

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Apex Fire in southwestern Utah grew to 22,000 acres on Monday but 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On Sunday night, a voluntary evacuation of the Shivwits Reservation was recommended, but it was withdrawn on Monday, said Bureau of Land Management fire information officer Jodi Hamel.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 Washington County sheriff's office said there were about 100 people on the reservation. Hamel said some had left Sunday night, but she did not know how many.

Hamel said the fire, which began Saturday, had been determined to be human-caused and she believed some suspects had been identified, but she had no other information on the investigation, which was being conducted by the BLM and the sheriff's office. The sheriff's office referred questions to the BLM.

The fire about 10 miles west of St. George was 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.

More than 120 firefighters, aided by two heavy air tankers, three single-engine air tankers and five engines, were on the fire on Sunday, and additional personnel arrived on Monday, but Hamel did not know how many.

There was no projected time of containment.

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

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