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Tooele County wildfire blackened nearly 1,400 acres

Published May 22, 2012 3:22 pm

Tooele County • Crews have already doused a dozen other blazes since controlling 73 Fire.
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A fire that blackened nearly 1,400 acres in western Utah's Tooele County has officially been extinguished, but firefighters have not been taking it easy since control of the 73 Fire was declared this past weekend.

Interagency Fire Center spokesman Jason Curry said Tuesday that the 73 Fire, a human-caused blaze that began on May 17, was mapped at 1,390 acres when crews declared it to be controlled on Saturday night. Burning in the remote Five Mile Pass area, the fire burned grass, sagebrush, pinyon and juniper but damaged no structures and caused no serious injuries.

Since the 73 Fire, more than a dozen other wildfires have been reported in northern and eastern Utah, Curry said, mostly thought ignited to lightning and all under five acres in size.

"Mostly, volunteer firefighters were able to get on them quick and put them out, so they ended up pretty much non-events as wildfires," Curry said.

However, he added that continued hot, dry and gusty weather throughout the region expected to continue into Wednesday was causing crews to keep a close watch on the skies for smoke.

A "Red Flag" wildfire danger warning was in effect for Wednesday, meaning the area's tinder-dry grasslands, desert sagebrush and forests were at risk for rapidly spreading blazes. Campers and outdoor recreationists were asked to be especially careful with cigarettes, campfires and any other burning materials.

remims@sltrib.com

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