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Crews play fiery ‘whack-a-mole’ with S. Utah lightning fires

First Published Jul 08 2014 08:50AM      Last Updated Jul 09 2014 09:06 am

Crews on Tuesday were slowly closing the lines around eastern Utah’s Taylor Mountain Road Fire, hoping to soon tame the blaze that has blackened 3,126 acres since it began last weekend.

Kelsey Birchell, Bureau of Land Management fire information officer, said an army of about 250 firefighters — comprised of six hand crews, 25 engines, a helicopter and air tanker — had topped 50 percent containment as of Tuesday morning. By Tuesday night, the containment had reached 75 percent.

The fire, which began on Sunday about 10 miles north of Vernal in grass, brush and trees, destroyed two summer homes and a permanent residence early on. No injuries have been reported, however.



Birchell said the cause of the blaze remained undetermined.

Steinaker State Park, which lost 60 acres to the flames, remained closed.

Crews also were mopping on at the Greek Peak Fire, which had burned 761 acres 15 miles southwest of Enterprise in the Dixie National Forest.

Dixie National Forest crews also were engaged in a fiery whack-a-mole as they scampered from one small lightning-sparked wildfire to another. Fire Information Officer Joe Harris said the Color Country Dispatch area, of which Dixie is a large part, had recorded more than 4,000 lightning strikes so far this week due to a series of thunderstorms.

Those bolts ignited more than 50 fires, most of less than an acre, which had been contained, controlled and extinguished as of Tuesday morning.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims

 

 

 

 

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