29,550 acres burned so far in 3 Utah fires

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PORTAGE, Box Elder County — Gusting winds, more lightning and extremely dry conditions are presenting challenges to firefighters trying to stop the progress of three large wildfires burning in Utah. More crews and equipment are being deployed today to help contain them.

The State Fire blossomed to 21,000 acres Tuesday, prompting agencies to organize a public meeting Tuesday night to detail the plan of attack to quell the wildfire.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Malad Elementary School, 250 W. 400 North in Malad, Idaho.

Early today, the Arizona Central West Zone Incident Management Team, Bea Day Incident Commander, took over management of suppression efforts of the blaze, which was described as extremely active Monday.

The fire was driven by strong, gusty winds and was running and torching.

"Low relative humidity and dense dry fuels contributed to the extreme fire behavior," according to a press release.

On Monday, the fire grew in all directions except on its southern flank, where firefighters have established a secure line.

The State Fire started Thursday with a lightning strike eight miles west of Portage. It is estimated to be 45 percent contained, with more than 220 firefighters working to stop its spread into neighboring communities.

  • In Tooele County's Skull Valley, the Patch Springs Fire has burned through 6,300 acres. On Monday, a DC-10 tanker dropped 11,000 gallons of water on the fire.


"Firefighters are working hard with a dozer trying to get a line to the south end of the fire to prevent it from spreading to Terra and (Goshute Indian) Reservation" said Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Joanna Wilson.

The fire is burning about two miles northwest of the community of Terra, which is east of Dugway, and has moved on to the Goshute Indian Reservation.

  1. The Millville Fire in Cache County grew to 2,250 acres and is 10 percent contained. Officials have closed Millville Canyon and put in a protection plan for the Chokecherry subdivision at the mouth of the canyon. Spokesman Larry Lucas said crews successfully completed a "burnout" east of Hyrum on Monday, which significantly reduced the threat to the collection of homes. Today, he said the crews will focus on the south and southeast flanks of the fire to keep it north of Blacksmith Fork Canyon Road. Because of the steep terrain, fire line construction is difficult, he said. About 150 firefighters, including five hand crews, are on the blaze, which started Sunday with a lightning strike.
  2. The Tank Fire near Spanish Fork also continued burning Tuesday afternoon. The fire was sparked by lightning Sunday and had burned around 150 acres by Tuesday. The fire is currently 30 percent contained. Contributing: Faith Heaton Jolley


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