Firefighters are racing to get control of several wildfires burning across the state right now.

The Split Top 1 Fire has torched about 420 acres and is burning about three miles north of the visitor's center at Dinosaur National Monument in eastern Utah. Helicopters and firefighters are trying to stop the fire's movement on the north and west flanks.

"The fire is burning entirely within the Dinosaur National Monument boundaries," National Park Service spokeswoman Carla Beasley said in an e-mail Thursday.

Crews continued Thursday to get the upper hand on wildland fires in Tooele and Salt Lake counties, but a lightning-caused blaze near Moab has charred 2,000 acres overnight.

The Porcupine Ranch fire started at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, prompting the evacuation of homes in the Miner Basin area, as well as visitors to the Mason Draw and Warner campgrounds. Initially, the fire started above Castle Valley and later jumped the LaSal Loop Road, which has been closed between Sand Flats and Castle Valley.

Additional resources have been ordered for the fire, including six Hotshot crews and nine more engines.

Meanwhile, 144 firefighters remain on the Corner Canyon Fire in Draper that is expected to be continued by 9 p.m. Thursday.

"It won't be out," Kathy Jo Pollock of the U.S. Forest Service said. "There will still be some smoke, but we'll have a line around it."

Weather and a quick deployment of firefighting resources have helped. The 808-acre fire is about 75 percent contained.

"There's some areas that kind of flare up a little bit in the thick brush," Pollock said. "As long as we don't get any wind events we'll be fine."

The fire burned dangerously close to homes in Draper's Corner Canyon area when it started on Monday. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, though it is believed to be human-caused.

Investigators have gone through tips offered by the public and have obtained some photographs of the area where the fire originated.

"We recovered some potential evidence," said Jason Curry with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. "It's too early to say if it's related to the fire or not."

The area where the fire started is "pretty busy," Curry said. He said investigators are asking for tips on any vehicles, bikes or people seen in the area around noon Monday. Some potential witnesses to the fire's start are still being questioned, he said.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Unified Fire Authority at 801-743-7100.

The Corner Canyon fire was one of four wildfires being fought in Utah on Thursday.

The 775-acre Gate Narrow fire is burning about two miles east of the Tooele County town of Terra. Firefighters said the fire is about 70 percent contained, with full containment expected by Friday. The fire was sparked on Monday by a vehicle in the area.

Crews are being shuttled in Thursday to rough, rugged and steep terrain where the fire is burning, and more resources have been ordered. Rocky Mountain Power is working to restore power to the area that has been affected by the wildfire, said BLM spokeswoman LaCee Bartholomew.

Meanwhile, the 560-acre Lonesome Pine fire burning about 3 1/2 miles northwest of Eureka on the Juab-Utah County was completely contained Wednesday evening. The cause of that fire remains under investigation, the Central Utah Interagency Fire Center said.


E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]