Fire officials were able to tally the total number of acres consumed in several central Utah fires that started Monday, but two of the fires were still burning Thursday with containment times uncertain.
All of the fires, which burned a total of 2,025 acres, were caused by lightning strikes from a dry storm system that blew across the state's midsection about 4 p.m. Monday.The North Canyon fire, about 60 miles west of Delta, was contained Tuesday evening but consumed 400 acres of Bureau of Land Management property altogether before it was controlled at noon Wednesday, said BLM information officer Bert Hart.
The Little Sage Valley fire, 13 miles southwest of Nephi, burned 575 acres of BLM land before it was contained at 2 p.m. Tuesday and controlled eight hours later.
The Sage Valley Pass fire, close to the Little Sage fire on BLM and private land, had charred 900 acres as of Wednesday afternoon and containment was not expected until late Wednesday evening.
Conditions in the Sage Valley area are so dry that a bulldozer leaving the area after cutting a fire line ran over a rock and created a spark and started a small fire, Hart said.
A fire near Mona Reservoir burning in a rugged area of pine and juniper trees was still burning and had burned 250 acres as of Wednesday. Firefighters started using a helicopter with a bucket to dump water on the fire Wednesday. To cut down the ferrying time between Mona Reservoir and the fire line, crews hauled a portable water tank closer to the fire the helicopter is dipping water from, Hart said.
Officials were hoping the Mona fire would be contained by Wednesday evening.
Ironically, the fires in the area should be extinguished just in time for a 1,000-acre controlled burn west of Ephraim scheduled Friday, Hart said.