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Crews battle wildfires across Utah

Published: Sunday, July 21 2013 10:21 p.m. MDT

Crews battled several wildfires Sunday, including one that prompted voluntary evacuations in Sanpete County.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Crews battled several wildfires in the state Sunday, including one that prompted voluntary evacuations in Sanpete County.

A grass fire broke out about 5 p.m. east of Spring City and came within about a mile of some structures, according to the Sanpete County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office called for voluntary evacuation of about 50 homes and cabins in the Pine Mountain and Whispering Pines subdivisions.

Dubbed the Aspen Springs Fires, the blaze consumed about 30 acres before slowing down just after 8 p.m. Firefighters were planning to use a bulldozer to build a fire line during the night.

"It's calmed down," said Sanpete sheriff's deputy Tyler Johnson. "We got some good breaks with the wind."

The cause of the fire hasn't been determined.

In northern Box Elder County, crews continued battling a fast-moving blaze near Snowville that had grown to 2,600 acres Sunday.

Nearly 150 firefighters were assigned to the blaze in the Devil's Playground recreation area, which began Saturday after a lightning strike. It was 30 percent contained Sunday, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

No structures were in immediate danger, but a cabin and military communications site are near the fire, said BLM spokeswoman Teresa Rigby. She said crews were working to protect those areas, as well as coordinating with local residents to mitigate the damage to cattle grazing land.

A Moab-based team gained control of the 438-acre Sinbad Fire east of the city on Saturday night as most firefighters and other personnel were to leave Sunday. The fire, started by lightning on July 7, is 75 percent contained. No structures were damaged.

Fire managers will continue to monitor the blaze, which is smoldering in timber and brush on Sinbad Ridge, a steep, inaccessible hilltop 29 miles east of Moab at the eastern end of the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

Remaining hand crews improved fire lines and mopped up burned areas. A helicopter was available for reconnaissance and to drop water on hot spots.

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com, Twitter: bjaminwood

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