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Crews continue to battle southern Utah wildfires

Published: Sunday, Aug. 7 2011 1:18 p.m. MDT

CEDAR CITY — Crews continued to battle fires in southern Utah on Sunday, including the Wrangler wildfire that has burned roughly 8,500 acres north of Cedar City since Friday afternoon.

The wildfire, about 15 miles north of Cedar City and five miles west of Minersville, Beaver County, was started by lightning about 4:30 p.m. Friday, according to the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands.

Roughly 120 crews battled the blaze on the ground and from the air Saturday, working to contain a pair of 50-acre flareups near the south perimeter of the fire, officials said.

As of 6 p.m. Sunday, the fire was 85 percent contained. No structures were threatened by the blaze, and no injuries had been reported.

All dirt roads located on public lands surrounding the fire perimeter were closed. No major highways were closed.

Lightning also was the cause of the School Wash wildfire on the west side of U.S. 89 about five miles west of Alton, Kane County, and 35 miles north of Kanab, fire officials said.

The School Wash fire had burned an estimated 105 acres in the Cedar City Ranger District of the Dixie National Forest since Wednesday.

As of 11 a.m. Sunday, the fire was 10 percent contained.

No major roads had been closed as a result of the fire, though some forest roads and off-road vehicle trails in the area had been temporarily shut down.

No structures were threatened by the fire, and no injuries had been reported.

Officials warned that smoke may be visible from U.S. 89 in parts of Kane County. Residents and visitors in the area also should be aware of fire vehicles, officials said.

Farther south, a wildfire had burned roughly 100 acres on the north side of the Diamond Valley subdivision about seven miles north of St. George.

That fire had been burning since about 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Its cause remained under investigation, officials said.

Crews had the blaze about 70 percent contained and away from all structures as of Sunday evening.

Goat Springs, Gubler and Blake roads have been closed as a result of the fire. Topaz Road in the Diamond Valley subdivision has reopened.

In Sanpete County, a lightning-caused fire continued to burn in the mouth of Six Mile Canyon, about four miles northeast of Sterling, in the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

The fire started Friday and was visible from U.S. 89 in the area, as well as parts of Six Mile Canyon. Fire officials had decided to manage the wildfire for resource benefits.

No structures were threatened, and closures of roads or trails had not been necessary, officials said.

Across the Arizona border, crews continued to battle the New Water fire, which had consumed roughly 9,800 acres on the Grand Canyon's South Rim since Wednesday.

The fire is burning roughly six miles east of Meadview and 50 miles north of Kingman.

As of Saturday night, the fire was 60 percent contained.

Crews have kept a two-mile buffer between the fire and the Grand Canyon West development on the Hualapai Indian Reservation.

Email: jpage@desnews.com

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