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Crews wrap up current Utah wildfires, hope for weekend relief
Firefighters statewide anticipated some relief from a cooler, wetter weekend — but first they had to get through a hot, dry and potentially busy Friday.
A "Red Flag" warning was in effect through 10 p.m. Friday for the northwest quarter of Utah, as well as the state's southwest and southcentral high desert regions. The National Weather Service issued the alert after noting continued hot, dry weather and gusty winds expected along the state's tinder-dry high desert rangelands and forests.
As of Friday, crews had achieved 100 percent containment of the human-caused Pony Fire, which scorched 929 acres of cheatgrass and juniper at the base of Mount Simpson in Tooele County.
Firefighters also completed lines around the 110-acre, lightning-caused Pine Valley Fire by early Friday afternoon. That blaze burned in grass, sagebrush and pinion on Bureau of Land Management holdings in northwestern Washington County, , said Fire Information Officer Yanavey McCloskey.
Late Friday morning, a brush fire near the southbound Interstate 15 off-ramp to Santaquin briefly forced closure of the exit.
Meanwhile, Unified Fire Authority investigators continued to look into a human-caused brush fire that had briefly threatened homes in Draper Thursday afternoon.
UFA, assisted by crews from South Jordan, Sandy and Bluffdale, had tamed the fire by 3:30 p.m. Thursday, containing the blaze to 20 acres.