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Fire crews battle blazes throughout Utah

Published: Saturday, Aug. 29 2015 1:23 a.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)) An air tanker makes a drop on the Patch Springs Fire in the Stansbury Mountains on Friday, Aug. 16, 2013. ((Ravell Call, Deseret News))

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.

Grace Fire: This fire began Aug. 14 in the Dixie National Forest, near Hells Backbone Bridge and Salt Gulch. Crews are daily watching and assessing the needs of the fire that has reached 249 acres. They will prevent the fire from spreading, but will not put resources toward extinguishing the fire. The fire is expected to burn for 30 or more days, according to fire officials.

Mount Elmer Fire: Burning since Aug. 9, this fire is about 264 acres wide. The fire is being watched, but no crews are on the scene because of higher-priority fires elsewhere.

Middle Creek Fire: Reported on Aug. 14, this 80-acre fire was 5 percent contained Monday. More resources have been ordered to supplement the 20-person crew, five-person squad, three engines, helicopter, two volunteer fire department water tenders and overhead crews. They were able to create a line on the west side of the fire.

Santaquin Pole Fire grew to 50 acres Monday. The lightning-caused fire began around 3 p.m. Saturday. On Sunday, crews dropped several loads of retardant in the path of the fire, according to officials, who had not yet reported fire containment.

Tank Fire: Progress on the fire remained unchanged Monday, with 50 percent containment and 94 acres consumed. It began north of U.S. 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon.

222 Fire: Crews secured a perimeter around the fire Sunday night. The fire was reported 95 percent contained late Monday with full containment expected Tuesday. An estimated 1,631 acres have burned in the fire that began 15 miles south of Eureka in Juab County.

For more information visit utahfireinfo.gov

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