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Crews getting upper hand on two Utah wildfires

Published June 21, 2013 4:17 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A small wildfire accidentally started by a target shooter in Cedar Hills on Friday was quickly put out, while elsewhere in the state two more wildfires continued to rage in rural areas.

Lone Peak Fire Chief Brad Freeman said the Cedar Hills fire began burning perilously close to homes on Morgan Boulevard and Box Elder Drive near Montgomery Peak, but firefighters were able to divert the blaze away from the structures. The 10-acre fire began about 4 p.m. and burned upward into the rugged hills where firefighters couldn't reach it. The fire department was getting help from a helicopter that was pulling water from the Cedar Hills irrigation pond.

Cedar Hills City reported the fire was 100 percent contained around 6 p.m. Freeman said no structures were threatened. The city reported the target shooter called 911 after the flames got out of control and admitted to his role in the fire.

Cedar Hills, along with the rest of Utah County, was under a fire weather watch that was issued Friday by the National Weather Service. The weather service warned of high winds and low humidity in much of northern and central Utah. The southeastern part of the state remained under a more severe red flag warning, as had been the case for most of this week.

Meanwhile, crews seemed to be getting the upper hand against two wildfires that had been burning for more than a week.

The Dark Canyon Fire in Manti-La Sal National Forest had burned about 350 acres in the Dark Canyon Wilderness, about 25 miles west of Monticello, in San Juan County. It was about 75 percent contained Friday, and crews hoped to have the lightning-caused blaze fully contained by noon Saturday.

To the northeast, the Lackey Fan Fire, also in the Manti-La Sal National Forest, continued to burn about 3 miles northwest of La Sal. A lightning strike last week ignited that blaze, which had burned about 929 acres by Friday. Fire crews had reached 95 percent containment on that blaze.

Jessica Miller contributed to this report.

kbennion@sltrib.com

Twitter: @KimballBennion