Fire crews appear to have the upper hand on a number of wildfires burning in Utah and should have all well under control within the next few days, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
The largest fire, which has burned 5,600 acres in Emigration Canyon east of Salt Lake City, is 80 percent contained, and officials are hoping to have the fire completely contained at 6 p.m. Wednesday, said Interagency Fire Center spokeswoman Wendy Evans.Residents of Killyon and Pinecrest canyons in the upper reaches of Emigration Canyon were allowed back into their homes for good Tuesday night.
The fire forced evacuation of nearly 80 homes Friday night, and many of the structures were seriously threatened by the blaze on Friday and Saturday before firefighters turned the tide.
Evans said non-resident access to Emigration Canyon is still restricted, however. Canyon residents returning to their homes will have to show identification to police who will continue to man a roadblock in the canyon for several more days.
Residents are also required to park their cars off the main roads to allow movement of fire equipment, and they are being asked to stay within the residential areas until the firefighting effort is completed.
Evans said firefighters have suffered only minor injuries since the fire erupted Friday afternoon.
A 2,400-acre blaze near Powder Mountain in Weber County is considered fully contained with full control expected by Wednesday night. That fire was ignited by sparks from a bulldozer on Aug. 24. Officials thought the blaze was controlled late last week, but gusting winds rekindled the blaze, which at one point threatened homes in Eden.
Evans said crews battling that fire received tremendous support from area residents and the nearby Catholic monastery. More than 80 percent of the food for the firefighters was prepared and donated by area residents and businesses.
A 375-acre fire near Alpine in Utah County was declared under control Tuesday, and crews were mopping up on Wednesday. That fire was started by an abandoned campfire in Fort Canyon.
About 275 firefighters continue to battle an 875-acre blaze on Wallsburg Ridge near Deer Creek. Officials are predicting the fire will be contained Wednesday. Crews are working to maintain firebreaks around the burned area. The fire exploded on crews early Monday and quadrupled in size before firefighters regained the edge.
A few other minor fires were reported, including a five-acre blaze in Lamb's Canyon that destroyed a cabin before it was controlled, a five-acre blaze in Cache County and a one-acre fire about 25 miles southwest of Evanston. Salt Lake County firefighters hosed down a few hot spots about 100 yards away from the cabin that burned on Lamb's Canyon.
Evans said fire officials expect to have all of the major fires under control soon if mild weather conditions continue.