Ravell Call, Deseret News
TERRA, Tooele County — The Patch Springs Fire grew to 33,000 acres Friday, leading to evacuations in the little town of Terra and destroying at least eight trailer homes.
The trailer homes are the first structures lost to the fire, which was sparked by lightning Aug. 10. All of the homes were in the Willow Springs area, which was evacuated about 6 p.m. Thursday.
Several of the evacuated Willow Springs residents took refuge at a church outside Dugway Proving Ground until the fire knocked out power, moving them to Grantsville High School.
Their neighbors in Terra were evacuated about 5 p.m. Friday when the fire crossed to the south side of state Route 199. The Bureau of Land Management's Clover Springs Campground was also evacuated.
The BLM reported the fire was about 20 percent contained Friday.
Firefighters battling the blaze were receiving air support again Friday after it had been pulled to support crews at the Rockport Fire in Summit County earlier in the week, fire officials said.
BLM spokeswoman Joanna Wilson said it remained unclear whether continuous air support would have made a difference fighting the fire.
"We did put down a lot of air support — the retardant on the ground — and it actually burned right through that retardant," Wilson said. "So it's hard to say whether that air support would have helped or not."
Wilson said fire crews had experienced some success halting the progress of the fire at the south end by executing a "back-burn" near state Route 199. The road remained closed Friday as fire crews continued to use it to stage their operations.
More evacuations were possible over the weekend, Wilson said, but they would primarily affect cabins and camp areas in South Willow Canyon. Wilson said that is a popular area for archery hunters, and several people had campground reservations for the weekend. It remained unclear Friday afternoon if those evacuations would go into effect.
Wilson said barring heavy rains this weekend, the fire could continue to burn for days.
"Our main focus right now is the safety of those residents, those cabins, the public, our firefighters and just letting people know where the fire is, where they should and shouldn't be," she said. "Please use caution when you're in those areas. Stay away from the fire. Don't go near the fire. If you feel uncomfortable, get out."
A wildfire erupted just before 1 p.m Thursday in the Maple Mountain area southwest of Eureka and quickly grew. Original estimates put the fire at roughly 175 acres, but the BLM reported Wednesday the 222 Fire had grown to 1,600 acres.
No known structures were threatened, and crews reported 5 percent containment Friday.
Crews from Juab County and the BLM were originally called in, and a Type 3 team took over Friday morning. This is the 222nd fire the BLM has responded to this year.
Crews battling the Millville Fire in Cache County worked through Thursday night and reported success Friday in suppressing burning debris close to the road.
Evacuations put into place remained in effect along a segment of the Blacksmith Fork road and an area along the Left Hand Fork road. Structures are threatened within that area, and deputies evacuated cabins and campgrounds. No subdivisions at the mouth of the canyon were evacuated.
About 2,800 acres have burned and the fire was 30 percent contained. More than 190 personnel were battling the Millville Fire, which started Sunday morning by lightning.
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