Crews were planning their attack on a 3,000-acre blaze charring tall sage lands near Woodruff late Saturday as firefighters around the state were looking to the skies for help.
The fire, reported at 6:45 p.m. Saturday, was burning about 9 miles west of Woodruff. The blaze began on private property and spread to Bureau of Land Management lands, said Don Rounds, Interagency Fire Center dispatcher.A crew from the Sawtooth National Forest was en route to the blaze in addition to Rich County and Utah crews.
Little information was available about the fire, Rounds said, except that crews were concerned about the high winds, parched grasses and dismal weather forecast.
The National Weather Service predicted highs pushing near 100, strong winds and a chance of more lightning throughout Utah through Sunday.
"There's a lot of lightning moving in from Nevada," Rounds said, as firefighting strategists worked out plans of attack to prevent the blazes from consuming even more land.
A fire that destroyed a summer home valued at $35,000 and burned about 350 acres near Duchesne was expected to be under control by 6 p.m. Sunday.
Forest Service spokesman Gary Cornell said the Orange Mountainfire was about 95 percent controlled Saturday evening.
Firefighters were able to save about six to eight homes with a total value of $225,000, Cornell said. The homes remained evacuated Saturday afternoon.
The Orange Mountain fire, about 75 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, was one of 11 lightning-sparked fires that broke out Wednesday in eastern Utah. Firefighters hacked out a fire line to keep the fire within an 800-acre area. Firefighters were able to extinguish 10 of the lightning fires by late Wednesday.
Cornell said about 150 fire personnel from Duchesne, Uintah and Wasatch counties and personnel from the Forest Service, the BLM and theBureau of Indian Affairs werefighting the fire.
A 400-acre fire bordering Dugway Proving Ground and BLM land west of Salt Lake City was contained late Saturday, Rounds said. No time was set when crews would be able to extinguish the White Rocks blaze in high desert grass and shrub.
Firefighting efforts early Saturday consisted mostly of cleaning up in the area and releasing limited resources, Cornell said.
But high winds and dry lighting began moving east, and crews began hopping, Rounds said.
Another lightning-caused fire, the Sage Valley Pass fire in the East Tintic Mountain area 75 miles south of Salt Lake City, was also contained Saturday and a skeleton crew remained to ensure it stayed that way.
The fire that began Monday had charred about 1,000 acres. It grew by 150 acres Thursday night and crews had to be called back Friday. They were released again on Saturday after they regained control of the fire, a spokesman said.
In Wyoming, the Forest Service upgraded a blaze in the Teton Wilderness to wildfire status Saturday after it had burned more than 9,000 acres. Lightning ignited that fire last Monday in the Enos Lake area northeast of Jackson.