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Lightning sparks 20 wildfires in southwestern Utah

First Published Jul 03 2014 10:34 am • Last Updated Jul 03 2014 09:33 pm

Crews were scurrying throughout southwestern Utah’s high deserts, range and forest lands Thursday after lightning storms sparked more than 20 small wildfires in the region.

Joe Harris, fire information officer at the Dixie National Forest, did not initially report that any of the slew of blazes had grown larger than a few acres, but they had the potential to do so if not quickly snuffed.

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The region already was under a "Red Flag"wildfire danger advisory through late Thursday night due to tinder-dry conditions on the ground and near triple-digit temperatures.

The new fires generally were clustered around the Enterprise, Gunlock, Pine Valley and New Harmony areas.

Among others, small fires dubbed Boon, Border, Plenty, Honeycomb and Reservoir, along with the 100-plus acre Basin fire were ignited by lightning in an area roughly 10-12 miles west of Enterprise; the small Jackson Wash, Eagle Ranch, Manganese and Millcreek fires — along with the 100-acre Oak Brush fire — were burning within a rough circle of 2-10 miles around the Gunlock Reservoir; the Harmony fire was putting up smoke 5 miles east of New Harmony; the Five Mile fire was scorching an area about 4 miles northwest of Pine Valley; and the Bull Valley Mountain fire outside of Veyo.

Firefighters out of Ely, Nev., were fighting a 500-acre blaze in the Middle Ridge region, just west of the Nevada-Utah border.

The fires were in remote areas and no injuries or structural losses were immediately reported.

Harris asked the public to stay clear of the fires for their safety and to allow crews unimpeded access to the scenes.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims


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