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Improvements in air quality, fire activity expected for the weekend

Published: Friday, July 13 2012 10:05 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — One of Utah's many wildfires made its presence known Friday as smoke from Tooele's Flood Canyon fire made its way to the Salt Lake Valley.

The numerous fires brought a red air quality alert, indicating conditions that are unhealthy for young children and older adults as well as those who suffer from asthma, from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality for Tooele, Salt Lake, Utah and Davis Counties Friday. But the department forecasted that Saturday would bring improved air conditions. 

Salt Lake, Davis and Utah counties were anticipated to be upgraded to a yellow, or moderate, alert Saturday, while Tooele County would see an improvement to a green designation. With 12 active wildfires burning in the state, environmental quality officials are asking that Utahns with heart or respitory conditions limit their time in the outdoors.

But it is anticipated that storms expected over the weekend will help clear the air and aid firefighters battling the state's multiple fires. As of Friday, there had been 601 wildland fires in 2012, according to the state's fire information website. The majority — 473 — were human-caused, but nearly all of those currently burning were sparked by lightning.

Baboon Fire

Where: Four miles south of Minersville, Beaver County

Size: 19,000 acres

Containment: 0 percent

Structures: No structures have been lost, though a natural gas pipeline and multiple powerlines are currently threatened

Evacuations: Evacuation of Circle 4 Farms was lifted Thursday evening

Started: 12:30 p.m. Sunday

Cause: Lightning

* * *

Clay Springs Fire

Where: Five miles south of Oak City, Millard County

Size: 108,000 acres

Containment: 100 percent

Structures: None damaged

Evacuations: None

Started: 2:15 p.m., June 27

Cause: Under investigation

* * *

Flood Canyon Fire

Where: Tooele

Size: 345 acres

Containment: Unknown

Structures: None threatened

Evacuations: None

Started: 9:20 p.m. Wednesday

Cause: Lightning

* * *

Dizzy Rock Fire

Where: West of Wales, Sanpete County

Size: 30 acres

Containment: Unknown

Structures: None threatened

Evacuations: Maple Canyon was evacuated near the Maple Canyon Campground July 12

Started: 2 p.m. Thursday

Cause: Under investigation

* * *

Hobble Complex Fire

Where: 35 miles south of St. George

Size: 18,000 acres

Containment: 25 percent, expected to reach 100 percent by July 20

Structures: Several ranching-related buildings such as barns and sheds currently threatened

Evacuations: Black Rock Lookout

Started: Midnight Wednesday

Cause: Lightning

***

Meadow Fire

Where: 20 miles from Grouse Creek, Box Elder County

Size: 575 acres

Containment: 75 percent

Structures: Two ranch homes threatened

Evacuations: None

Started: 4:20 p.m. Tuesday

Cause: Lightning

* * *

Plateau Fire

Where: 65 miles south of St. George

Size: 4,500 acre

Containment: 65 percent

Structures: None threatened

Evacuations: None

Started: Wednesday

Cause: Lightning

* * *

Rhyolite Fire

Where: East of the Pilot Mountains, Box Elder County

Size: 4,357 acres

Containment: 20 percent

Structures: None

Evacuations: None

Started: 2:30 p.m. Wednesday

Cause: Lightning

* * *

Seeley Fire

Where: 15 miles northwest of Huntington, Emery County

Size: 47,588

Containment: 97 percent

Structures: Unknown

Evacuations: None at this time

Started: 5:30 a.m. June 26

Cause: Lightning

* * *

Wolf Den Fire

Where: Four miles north of Big Park, Uintah County

Size: 16,865

Containment: 85 percent

Structures: None

Evacuations: None

Started: June 29

Cause: Lightning

E-mail: emorgan@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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