A ban on the issuance of controlled burning permits has been ordered by Cache County Fire Chief Lyman Hansen in the wake of more than 50 fire calls in the past three weeks.

Hansen said seven blazes were fought in the county on Tuesday alone. He said the ban would last until further notice."Fortunately, the losses so far have been minor, but the potential has been there for major damage and because of the dry spring weather, shifting winds and low humidity, we fear many more fires could put a real strain on our units," he said.

The ban does not apply to the city of Logan, which has its own fire department.

Hansen said a blaze that got out of control west of Smithfield Tuesday came close to reaching a stable housing race horses, a home, several barns and a grain silo.

"We saved the stable by only a few minutes, and the race horses are worth a lot of money," he said.

The worst of the fires occurred April 5 when a grass blaze went out of control and spread to a barn holding a 3,000-gallon gas tank, two pickup trucks and farm equipment. Damage estimates were well over $10,000, Hansen said.