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Wildfire erupts in Box Elder County

Published July 20, 2013 7:29 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

A fast-moving wildfire in northern Utah's Box Elder County had consumed 1,500 acres by about 10 p.m. Saturday, after starting in a recreational area known as the Devil's Playground.

Teresa Rigby of the Northern Utah Interagency Fire Center said the fire grew rapidly throughout the day on Saturday.

Dubbed The Playground Fire, it was first reported at about 8 a.m. and was burning 15 miles south of the tiny town of Rosette, which is about 35 miles west and south of Snowville.

Rigby said that firefighters were concerned about a handful of buildings that could potentially be in the fire's path — a cabin, one other outbuilding and a military communications center about 5 miles south of the fire line. Rigby said firefighters also were concerned about a sage grouse habitat and some grazing land for cattle that could potentially be threatened.

Rigby said fire officials believe the fire, which was growing in all directions, was started by lightning.

A helicopter, two small air tankers and an engine began the initial attack. Later, a hand crew supported by an engine and water trucks — about 70 people in all — started to work on corralling the blaze, which was still at zero percent containment Saturday night.

Rigby said, however, that they hoped to have full containment within three days.

kbennion@sltrib.com

Twitter: @KimballBennion