New Utah wildfires sparked as lightning strikes
New wildfires were keeping crews busy across Utah, but firefighters were near containment on several other blazes.
A wildfire in Iron County sparked by lightning tore through 17,000 acres Thursday. Called the Baboon Fire, the blaze was moving quickly west early Thursday evening, causing the evacuation of Circle Four Farms, a large pig farm. That evacuation was lifted by 9 p.m., but State Road 130 near Minersville remained closed.
Elsewhere in Utah:
• A wildfire burning in Maple Canyon, west of Wales in Sanpete County, had consumed 10 to 15 acres by 4 p.m. and had forced evacuations in the area.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to the website utahfireinfo.gov
• A Tuesday lightning strike was being blamed for the 1,500-acre Meadow Fire, which was still burning Thursday in high-desert grasslands about 20 miles north of the tiny Box Elder County community of Grouse Creek. Two homes and about a dozen out buildings were threatened in the rural area, but as of Thursday morning no structures had been lost, no evacuations ordered and no injuries reported, according to Interagency Fire Center spokeswoman Teresa Rigby.
The Meadow Fire was 10 percent contained as of Thursday morning, but the nearby the Rhyolite Fire, which began Wednesday afternoon, had consumed 1,500 acres on the east side of the Pilot Mountains and continued to burn out of control. The cause of that fire remained under investigation.
• The Flood Canyon Fire has burned 100 acres along the west slope of the Oquirrh Mountains in Tooele County since it, too, was ignited by a lighting bolt late Tuesday. The fire was not threatening any structures and was burning on remote Bureau of Land Management holdings.
• The state's largest wildfire, the 108,132-acre Clay Springs blaze, was expected to be fully contained by Friday evening.
• In central Utah's Manti-La Sal National Forest area, the 47,588-acre Seeley Fire was 92 percent contained. Sparked by lightning June 26 about 15 miles northwest of Huntington, it was expected to be fully contained Sunday morning. Evacuations remain in effect in the Electric Lake area and Clear Creek community, Fire Incident Commander John Philbin said.
• The Wolf Den Fire, also started by lightning, had burned 16,865 acres but full containment was projected for Aug. 1, said fire information officer Kelsey Birchell. As of Thursday morning, it was 85 percent contained.
• A series of small grass fires in Weber County, generally along 12th Street in Ogden and within an area between 3500 West and just east of Interstate 15, were quickly extinguished by firefighters late Thursday morning. A Weber Fire District dispatcher said the fires were believed sparked by a passing train.
• Meanwhile, 35 miles south of St. George in the Arizona Strip, more than a dozen blazes also lightning caused were keeping BLM crews hopping. The Hobble Complex Fire, comprised of three smaller blazes that had combined, and the Plateau Fire, 30 miles further south in Arizona, together had burned about 20,000 acres of cheatgrass and juniper.
Salt Lake Tribune reporter Jessica Miller contributed to this story.