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Promontory Point ablaze after lightning strike

Published May 25, 2012 1:21 pm

N. Utah • Crews near containment; wildfire that threatened homes in Hurricane contained.
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Sparked by lightning and whipped by gusting winds, a fast-moving wildfire had scorched more than 4,200 acres of desert highlands on the Great Salt Lake's Promontory Point by Friday evening.

Northern Utah Interagency Fire Center spokesman Jason Curry said the blaze, burning in the Long Canyon area about 65 miles northwest of Salt Lake City and 45 miles west of Brigham City, was ignited when a thunderstorm moved through the region late Thursday morning.

"It made a pretty good run late Thursday and continued to burn through the night along the west side of the point, generally north of Little Valley Harbor and south of Indian Bay," Curry said.

Curry said Friday evening that the fire is about 50 percent contained. He said fire officials hope they can contain the other half throughout Saturday.

By Friday afternoon, crews had benefited from relatively mild conditions.

"There's not been a whole lot of wind, like we had feared, so that's been helpful," Curray said, adding that late-afternoon and evening rainstorms were expected to settle over the area.

About 60 firefighters, aided by a water-bearing helicopter, battled the flames as they licked at bountiful fuels of grass and sagebrush on rugged terrain. No injuries or structural damage had been reported.

With "red flag" wildfire warnings active throughout much of the state going into the holiday weekend, firefighters were keeping a close watch on Utah's tinder-dry rangelands and forests.

There was some good news, though: The 2,200-acre wildfire that had kept southwestern Utah crews busy since it reportedly was sparked by welders on Tuesday was declared 100 percent contained Friday morning.

Interagency Fire Center spokesman David Eaker said firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management, national and state Forest Service, Hurricane, local and volunteer fire departments all contributed to the successful effort to snuff flames that threatened homes in Hurricane.

No injuries or structural property damage were reported from that fire, which burned primarily in the hills and draws southeast of Hurricane and south of Highway 59.

Up to 160 firefighters battled the blaze at its height.

About 20 firefighters remained on the scene Friday to douse any flare-ups.

remims@sltrib.com