Crews gaining upper hand on some Utah wildfires
State Fire • Largest of current blazes has scorched 21,000 acres along Utah-Idaho border.
Published: August 13, 2013 11:27AM
Updated: August 14, 2013 10:10AM
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Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune The Skull Valley Fire continues to burn, Monday, August 12, 2013.

Slowly but surely, an army of firefighters on Tuesday hemmed a stubborn, lightning-sparked blaze on the Utah-Idaho border that had topped 22,000 acres.

About 250 firefighters, aided by water-bearing helicopters and air tankers loaded with fire retardant, reached 50 percent containment of the State Fire, fire officials reported.

Flames continued to consume remote swatches of grass, brush, juniper and stands of heavy timber in Utah’s Box Elder County and north into Idaho’s North Canyon area. Crews had managed to turn back the fire from the tiny town of Samaria, Idaho.

Early Tuesday, firefighters were aided by cooler air and higher humidity as they worked to complete containment lines around the east and north flanks of the blaze.

While Samaria was under a voluntary evacuation advisory overnight, the danger to the community appeared to have eased by Tuesday. State Line and Portage Canyon roads remained closed to the public to aid firefighting-related traffic.

Meanwhile, the Millville Fire was 20 percent contained Tuesday night, having scorched more than 2,250 acres. The blaze was burning east of the Cache County town of Hyrum and was being battled by 150 firefighters and several helicopters and air tankers, said Fire Information Officer Larry Lucas.

There was no estimate for when the Millville Fire might be fully contained. No injuries had been reported and no structures had been lost, though Black Smith Fork Canyon was restricted to through traffic only and Millville Canyon remained closed.

The Patch Springs Fire had reached 10,670 acres in Tooele County’s Skull Valley, just east of the Goshute Indian Reservation. About 100 firefighters worked to keep the blaze away from the high desert hamlet of Terra. The fire was 15 percent contained Tuesday night.

The Tank Fire, had burned 100 acres north of Highway 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon. Jennifer McBride of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest said the fire was not threatening any structures, though crews were guarding some power lines in the area of the flames. It was 40 percent contained Tuesday night.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims