A pair of wildfires burning in central Utah serve as another reminder that the fire season is not over.
Wildland firefighters were called out to do battle against a 285-acre blaze in remote Millard County earlier this week. A helicopter also was dispatched to contain a 24-acre blaze that ignited on Nov. 3 in steep terrain in Sanpete County's Fairview Canyon.
"Fire season is not over," Karen Feary, a spokeswoman for the Richfield Interagency Fire Center, said Thursday. "We haven't got any rain or snow. We've got cured vegetation out there."
The 24-acre Coal Fire was caused by a vehicle with hot brakes, and it burned in oak brush in terrain so steep, firefighters had to call in a helicopter to help extinguish it. The fire was finally contained on Monday afternoon.
On Tuesday, the Lakeview Fire started in Millard County west of Black Rock, near the Millard-Beaver County line. The fire swelled to 285 acres before it was contained, Feary said.
The Lakeview Fire is believed to be human-caused. Investigators have been dispatched to the scene, but authorities said there is nothing to indicate what started the fire.
"It's under investigation," Feary said. "It is believed to be human-caused. We have no lightning."
The absence of any weather is a big concern for firefighters. Despite the cooler temperatures, cheat grass and other fuels remain dry and ripe to burn.
"Fire danger has increased, and there is a shortage of fire suppression personnel," said Tom Suwyn, a fire management officer.
Firefighters are urging people to be careful in wildland areas, particularly through hunting season."We've got cooler days, which mitigates fire activity, but it could still take off," Feary said. "We still have campfires that have escaped on us."
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