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3,000-acre wildfire sizzles in central Utah

First Published Jul 25 2014 09:47AM      Last Updated Jul 25 2014 09:47 pm

(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) A wildfire burns in the mountains above Levan, Utah Thursday, July 24, 2014.

More than 100 firefighters were working Friday night to contain a blaze burning east of Highway 28 in Juab County.

The Levan Fire, which ignited about 4 p.m. Thursday just south of the town of the same name, is burning across more than 3,000 acres. Winds have spread the fire faster than crews can contain it.

Four helicopters and 12 fire engines were at the fire Friday morning, and more fire crews have been ordered in. The fire was 5 percent contained as the day began.

Residents of the six houses that were evacuated were allowed to return to their homes Thursday night, but have been advised that they may need to leave again if the fire threatens their homes.



Meanwhile, the Black Fire ignited Thursday when lightning struck near Black Crook Peak in south Tooele County. The fire had spread to 670 acres Friday evening with 20 percent containment.

"They had some wind, and the fire made some fairly large runs," said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Kathy Jo Pollock, adding that fire crews are hoping the wind dies down so they can start building lines.

A crew that had been fighting the Simpson Complex Fire near Vernon was sent south to take over management of the Black Fire, joining two crews, two engines a water tender and a helicopter battling the flames.

"They can handle it," Pollock said of the crew brought into manage the Black Fire. "That’s what they’re set up for."

That crew was also managing what they hope will be the final day of the 4,150-acre Simpson Complex Fire, which comprises both the Sheep Fire and the Lion Peak Fire. The fire was 95 percent contained as of Friday evening. Early morning lightning ignited three new hotspots, but crews estimated the fire would be completely contained this weekend.

Twenty-five firefighters were fighting the 188-acre Plateau Fire smoldering 5 miles east of Salina. The fire was at zero percent containment Thursday evening, though no structures were threatened.

The 1,400-acre Tunnel Hollow Fire, ignited Sunday afternoon 5 miles east of Morgan, was still burning through oak and maple trees along the Weber River corridor and Interstate 84. The fire was at 70 percent containment as of Friday morning, and the 220 firefighters working to extinguish the flames hope to have the fire completely contained by Monday.

The 1,140-acre Anaconda Fire smoldering across grass, sage, oak brush and juniper northeast of Tooele was 95 percent contained Thursday night, and residents whose houses had been evacuated were allowed to return home.

hstevens@sltrib.com

Twitter: @Harry_Stevens

 

 

 

 

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