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Utah wildfires continue to burn, evacuations remain

Published August 18, 2013 9:12 pm

Fires • Evacuation order eased in Summit but remains in place for Patch Springs Fire.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Residents displaced by a blaze in Summit County are expected to be allowed back into their homes Monday , but elsewhere in Utah wildfires continued to burn, scorching thousands of acres and driving families from their homes.

After torching a historic lodge and some homes, forcing evacuations and cutting power to Dugway, the Patch Springs Fire — at 31,000 acres, the state's largest active wildfire — burned on both sides of the Stansbury Mountains. Some evacuation orders remained in place with that blaze.

The lightning-caused Patch Springs fire was 20 percent contained as of Sunday but has charred mostly national forest land, much of it designated wilderness south of Deseret Peak.

Nearly 200 firefighters were on the blaze, one of nine burning across Utah. State Route 199 was closed for much of Sunday but reopened at 8 p.m. A nearby campground had remained closed.

Elsewhere in Utah, evacuation orders remained in place for 110 properties near Wanship in Summit County, where the Rockport 5 Fire had destroyed eight homes earlier in the week. Sparked by lightning, the fire was 70 percent contained Sunday.

Fire officials hoped to lift the evacuation order and allow residents back into their homes 8 a.m. Monday.

High winds Saturday night whipped up the lightning-spared Millville Fire in Cache County, although crews and water drops kept the blaze from cresting the ridgetop between Millville Canyon and Blacksmith Fork Canyon. It remains at just under 3,000 acres burned and is 35 percent contained.

It continues to threaten about 167 structures and mandatory evacuation orders are in place in the vicinity. The evacuation zone begins at the mouth of Blacksmith's Fork Canyon, but the subdivisions at the mouth of the canyon are not included.

In addition, Highway 101 remained closed to all non-essential traffic.

In Davis County, the Farmington Spine Fire burning in the foothills east of Lagoon reached 75 acres Sunday, and was 100 percent contained by 8 p.m. Sunday. No homes in the area were threatened.

Farmington Canyon, from 500 South to Skyline, and Steed Canyon remained closed Sunday and will reopen Monday.

The fire was human-caused and law enforcement officers have interviewed five people but made no arrests.

On the Utah-Idaho border, the State Fire continued to burn about eight miles west of Portage. As of Sunday, it had scorched nearly 30,000 acres, but was 80 percent contained.

Fire officials said near-normal temperatures and humidity were expected, which should help on that fire. Smoke, however, was expected to continue for several weeks as interior pockets of fuel continued to burn.

Crews were also spreading retardant to try to stop the spread of a new, 40-acre fire above Payson that was reported Sunday.

jstecklein@sltrib.com

Twitter @sltribjanelle

Robert Gehrke contributed to this report. —

Utah fire roundup

• 222 Fire in Juab County: 1,630 acres; 50 percent contained

• Farmington Spine Fire in Davis County: 75 acres; 100 percent contained

• Millville Fire in Cache County: 2,864 acres; 40 percent contained

• Patch Springs Fire in Tooele County: 31,000 acres; 20 percent contained

• Rockport 5 Fire in Summit County: 1,920 acres; 90 percent contained

• State Fire in Box Elder County: 29,335 acres; 80 percent contained

Source: Respective public land agencies, Utahfireinfo.gov