Gusting winds pushed a northern Utah fire across a firebreak Sunday, but crews hoped to have the man-caused fire contained - a second time - Monday after cutting a new line.
Crews Monday were winding down their work on two other fires, one in eastern Utah that consumed 318 acres and charred a summer cabin, and an 83-acre fire near near Tooele.The Red Mountain fire near Woodruff Reservoir in northern Utah has been burning since Wednesday, charring sagebrush and grasses on rolling hillsides near the reservoir, said J.R. Davis, Interagency Fire Center dispatcher. But gusting winds pushed the fire across the line Sunday and burned an additional 250 acres, bringing the total acreage charred to 1,050, he said.
Eight to 10 cabins, power lines and a natural gas line were threatened during the first days of the fire. Line crews fireproofed the cabins and used bulldozers to clear fuel woods away from the utility lines. Officials believe the fire was man-caused and an investigator has been sent to the scene, Davis said.
The fire began Wednesday on private property at 6:45 p.m. Saturday and spread to Bureau of Land Management and state lands charring sagebrush and grasses.
Four 20-man hand crews were still at the scene Monday morning and expected the blaze to be controlled by 8 p.m.
A crew of more than 100 firefighters that was at a fire charring pinon pine and juniper near Duchesne had been reduced to 40 Monday morning after the fire was controlled Sunday. The Orange Mountain fire destroyed a summer home worth $35,000, but crews were able to save a half dozen other homes in the area.
"The cabin was up on top of a ridge in fairly heavy pinon and juniper," said Gary Cornell, state fire officer. The fire "came up a draw, heated the fuel ahead of it" and ignited the cabin.
The cabin, owned by a Salt Lake County family, was already in flames when the firefighters arrived, he said, and crews could not get very close to the blaze because of concerns for propane tanks and other structures that later exploded.
The Orange Mountain fire, about 75 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, was one of 11 fires that broke out Wednesday in eastern Utah. It was declared controlled Sunday morning. Firefighters from the Forest Service, BLM, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and crews from Duchesne, Uintah and Wasatch counties were battling the lightning-sparked blaze.
Another blaze, the Middle Canyon fire near Tooele, is in the mop-up stage. The blaze, charring 83 acres of heavy timber in rugged terrain, was contained Saturday and controlled at 8 p.m. Sunday. The fire was one of dozens started last week from lightning strikes.
Eight wildfires in Yellowstone National Park have consumed more than 10,000 acres of heavy timber, the Forest Service said. Most of the natural caused fires are being watched, but left to burn.