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Firefighters gain upper hand on Utah wildfires, brace for more

Published July 1, 2013 2:04 pm

Wildfires • Triple digit temperatures worry crews.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Crews were getting the upper hand Monday on several lightning-sparked wildfires in Utah, even as they braced for the temperatures once again soaring well into triple digits statewide.

The largest of the blazes, the 5,200-acre-plus Antelope Fire west of Cove Fort in Millard County, was 70 percent contained as of late Monday morning. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Don Carpenter said that fire, burning in sagebrush, grass, pinyon and juniper, was expected to be fully contained on Wednesday.

"We had a real good day on Sunday, then a little flare-up overnight, but our crews got right on it and things are looking good for us today," Carpenter said.

Prospects were favorable enough that fire managers were able to release half their crews Monday. About 75 firefighters, along with a water-bearing helicopter, were left to complete the containment process.

No injuries were reported and no structures were lost.

Meanwhile, the Wildflower Fire "blew up" overnight in the Simpson Mountains of Tooele County, more than tripling in size to near 1,600 acres on Monday. About 175 firefighters — along with three helicopters and four air tankers — were assigned to the blaze.

Fire information officer Teresa Rigby said full containment of the Wildflower Fire was hoped for by Independence Day. Crews had cut containment lines around 10 percent of the blaze by late Monday morning, which was blackening juniper, brush and grass.

No injuries, structure losses or evacuations had been ordered.

The Death Canyon Fire, at 95 percent containment, was nearly out. It had burned 81 acres of West Desert range, also near Simpson Mountain.

The 145-acre Moores Fire, 40 miles west of Nephi, was 25 percent contained.

Also Monday, the lightning-caused Flat Canyon Fire, located about 8 miles north of Fayette in Sanpete County, had burned about 12 acres and was zero percent contained, but crews hoped to have it contained sometime Monday night.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims