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Wildfire burning on Cache Valley mountainside

Published August 10, 2013 2:08 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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

At least 50 fire fighters are battling two lightning-caused blazes burning on a mountainside in Cache County.

The Millville Fire has burned approximately 250 acres between Millville Canyon and Blacksmith Fork Canyon, said Craig Humphreys, fire marshal for Logan City and spokesman for the fire. It was first reported at 3:39 a.m. Sunday. The lightning strikes initially started at least four separate fires, but two fires burned into each other, he said.

Fire fighters are working to protect a barn used to store hay to feed elk during the winter, but no other structures are currently threatened.

Humphreys said 10 fire engines from throughout the county, two from the U.S. Forest Service, a 20-person hand crew, two air attack planes and a helicopter are currently assisting to battle the fires, which are highly visible from the valley. The fires are burning mostly on state land.

Elsewhere, four fire crews continue to work a wildfire in Box Elder County near the Idaho border.

The Northern Utah Interagency Fire Center said Sunday that 240 fire fighters are on the scene and continuing to work to protect structures in the area. The State Fire, which has burned about 11,000 acres, is 38 percent contained, said spokeswoman Jennifer Hansen. So far, there are no reports of damaged structures or injuries. The fire is primarily burning on private land.

The fire, burning west of Portage, started on Thursday. Hansen said investigators have determined that lightning was the cause.

The fire is burning in a north east direction through grass, brush and juniper stands in steep rocky terrain. It briefly threatened a few residences on Friday, but fire crews building containment lines were able to divert the blaze away from structures.

On Saturday, the fire was about one mile from residents living east of Portage. State Line Road and Portage Canyon Road have also been closed.

To the east and slightly south, the Mt. Elmer Fire had burned 6 acres by Saturday afternoon. A spokeswoman said the fire was located in the Mt. Naomi Wilderness and was smoldering. No crews were fighting the fire, as no one was available to pull from other blazes.

On the Wyoming border, the Lake Lorena Fire is burning about 1 mile southeast of the East Fork of the Bear Boy scout camp and three-quarters of a mile from the East Fork of the Bear Trailhead on the Evanston Ranger District. That fire, ignited by lightning on Friday, is smoldering in a small group of trees. It is being monitored, but no crews are on the scene.

brooke@sltrib.com