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New fires bring state's total to eight

Published: Thursday, July 12 2012 9:22 p.m. MDT

MINERSVILLE, Beaver County — Crews responded to a wildfire in Beaver County that quickly spread to 17,000 acres Thursday, officials said.

The fire began around 12:30 p.m. approximately four miles south of Minersville and west of state Route 130, Bureau of Land Management spokesman Don Carpenter said. He said the cause is still under investigation.

"There were thunderstorms in the area, but I don't know if they had lightning or not," Carpenter said.

Carpenter said the fire threatened a farm, which was evacuated, and prompted the closure of state Route 130.

In Sanpete County, another fire started Thursday west of Moroni. Officials said there were no residences threatened, but an evacuation of the campgrounds in Maple Canyon was ordered.

Officials with the Eastern Arizona Incident Management Team said the Seeley Fire, which has been burning near Huntington since June 26, was 87 percent contained Thursday. The lightning-caused fire has so far blackened 47,588 acres — or 74 square miles — and officials estimate its cost at more than $7 million.

Management of the Seeley Fire was scheduled to be turned over from a Type 2 Incident Management Team to local Forest Service personnel on Friday.

The Utah Fire Info website showed eight fires burning in Utah on Thursday, with another two fires burning south of St. George over the Arizona border. 

The Arizona fires, known individually as the Hubble and Plateau Fires, have collectively burned more than 22,500 acres. Officials said they're hoping storms traveling south will provide rain to aid firefighting efforts.

Benjamin Wood

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