Related story: Fire School 101: Inside the life of a firefighter
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Firefighters worked throughout Thursday night to control a fast-burning wildfire that sent smoke billowing in the air visible for miles.
About eight miles south of Saratoga Springs on state Route 68, the blaze spread quickly because of wind Thursday afternoon. It was being fed by dry grass, brush and juniper trees, and burned several hundred acres.
The smoke carried over to the highway and was the cause of two traffic accidents because of low visibility. The victims suffered minor injuries.
While the fire was very visible throughout Utah County, it took time for firefighters to get around the lake and start battling the blaze. Crews were hoping to get a jump on it Friday morning, and get some containment before the wind and temperatures start picking up.
The cause of the fire is believed to be sparks from a nearby target practice. Two men are cooperating with investigators, saying the fire started where they were shooting.
No buildings are in the direct path of the blaze, but there are a few ranch houses that firefighters planned to keep an eye on overnight.
State Route 68 was still closed south of Saratoga Springs and north of Elberta late Friday night but fire crews were hoping to be able to reopen it before midnight.
With the unusually dry conditions Utah is experiencing, fire officials were again warning residents to be careful, especially with the warm temperatures in the forecast this weekend. Temperatures are expected to reach a high of 90 along the Wasatch Front this weekend with lows in the upper 50s and low 60s.
Fire danger, as evidenced by this wildfire, is very high.
E-mail: [email protected]