Fire crews battle blazes throughout Utah

Published: Monday, Aug. 19 2013 6:30 p.m. MDT

An air tanker makes a drop on the Patch Springs Fire in the Stansbury Mountains on Friday, Aug. 16, 2013.

(Ravell Call, Deseret News)

Enlarge photo»

SALT LAKE CITY — Firefighters rock.

That is the takeaway from the fire season that is heating up in Utah.

In addition to dozens of homes saved in the Rockport Fire, which was 90 percent contained by Monday, fire crews saved homes near the Barberra Hollow and Patch Springs fires.

There have been 341 fires in 2013, well short of the more than 1,000 wildfires in Utah during summer 2012.

Twelve fires were being monitored by fire crews Monday.

This season's newest significant wildfire, the Barberra Hollow Fire, burned on Tabby Mountain in Duchesne County.

Spanning about 10 acres, the fire threatened a few homes when it started, according to Jason Curry, spokesman for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

"Based on some really good firefighting tactics, we were able to save all those cabins that were within a few feet of the fire," Curry said.

The fire was 45 percent contained by Monday evening, with full containment expected by the day's end.

The Patch Springs Fire in Tooele County, which shut down state Route 199 until late Sunday evening, consumed eight structures in nearby Willow Springs and threatened homes in Terra, just a half-mile away.

Patch Springs had reached 31,010 acres and 71 percent containment as of Monday. Crews expect full containment by Wednesday night.

Fire crews curbed the fire and remained on the south and southeast end of the fire to prevent it from creeping back over into the nearby towns.

As of Monday, things had died down, according to John Zapell, spokesman for the Patch Springs Fire.

Crews continued to make progress on other fires throughout Utah.

Rockport Fire: Although residents were allowed to return home Monday, they were not able to rest for long. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning about 4 p.m. Monday. The anticipated heavy rain could cause debris flow within burn scar areas, officials said.

State Fire: Command of the State Fire was transferred to a Type 3 team, Monday morning. It was 85 percent contained and had burned 29,827 acres. Some firefighters have left the scene to return home or fight other fires. Crews will remain on hand to finish cleaning up the fire.

Farmington Spine Fire: Crews remained on hand after the fire was 100 percent contained Sunday to clean up operations and check for remaining hot spots. Starting Tuesday, the fire will be monitored for a week. All previously closed areas were reopened Monday. The fire was human caused and burned 58 acres.

Millville Fire: The fire that had been raging for a week was 40 percent contained and had burned 2,864 acres by Sunday night. Firefighters kept the flames from spreading by performing helicopter drops of water and retardant.

They did not have an air attack Monday, slowing the fight against the fire. Crews set up a mobile retardant plant, but officials expressed a need for air support in successfully suppressing the fire Tuesday.

Evacuation orders for the Blacksmith Fork Canyon were still in place Monday, though officials reported they had received pressure to open the canyon for the beginning of the deer hunt in Utah and the Top of Utah Marathon on Aug. 28.

Big Canyon Fire: This fire began 30 miles north of Green River on Aug. 13. Crews had not contained the 84-acre fire as of Monday but planned to hold and strengthen the Dilly Canyon fire line to keep it from spreading to the west.

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