Dry weather and strong winds breathed new life into a 2,000-acre fire near Powder Mountain ski resort, and started a new blaze in Provo Canyon.
Meanwhile, wind, rocks and rattlesnakes are hampering firefighting efforts in the Uinta National Forest.A fire near Powder Mountain ski resort contained Sunday raged out of control Friday morning, as strong winds activated hot spots along the blaze. The resurgence increased the total number of burned acres to 2,000, according to Kathy Jo Pollock, Interagency Fire Center spokeswoman.
"The wind is strong and there are some steep slopes, but we have tankers on hand in case it starts moving toward the ski resort," Pollock said.
Pollock said no people or property are in danger, but the fire is a half mile from Eden, Weber County. More than 100 people are working to bring the fire under control.
The fire at Powder Mountain, 25 miles east of Ogden Canyon, was ignited by sparks from a bulldozer working on the ski area Aug. 24. It is not expected to be contained before Sunday, with control predicted by Wednesday.
A blaze in Alpine has Utah County firefighters calling for reinforcements and help from the air. The blaze erupted Wednesday and has burned more than 275 acres in the Fort Canyon area, a few miles above Alpine.
"The fire is within one mile of residential homes in Alpine Cove, but none of them are in danger at this time. They have the fire trapped between School House Canyon and the side of the mountain," said Dave Healy, a Pleasant Grove firefighter.
"But if the wind changes directions, and starts moving downhill, the homes could be in danger," he said.
Crews spent Thursday night and Friday morning backburning the blaze so if flames do approach any homes, the fire won't have any fuel, said Loyal Clark, Uinta National Forest spokeswoman.
Clark said 250 firefighters are working to build lines around the flames. No homes were immediately threatened, but two bulldozers and two engines stood near the structures just in case.
"We had to go to Michigan and New Mexico to get additional crews. We are hampered by the terrain; it's very steep and rugged, there's a lot of boulders," Clark said, adding, "The crews also are experiencing some difficulty with the heat - they're receiving the full brunt of the front, and also we're having a problem with rattlesnakes."
The blaze, which is believed to have been started by an unattended campfire, is consuming vegetation in the watershed, she said.
"What we are concerned about here is that this is part of the watershed for Alpine," Clark said. She said the area, stripped of vegetation, could be ripe for flooding similar to that experienced by areas above Lindon and Orem a year ago this month.
An air tanker and a helicopter will be available Friday afternoon for retardant drops and hauling crews to the site, said Clark. No containment or control time is estimated. "We should be OK, unless something drastic happens."
A third fire also erupted Thursday in Wallsburg, near Deer Creek Reservoir. The fire claimed more than 75 acres by Friday morning, Pollock said.