- Associated Press - Thursday, June 28, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Firefighters were battling more than a half dozen wild land blazes across Utah in record heat and windy conditions on Thursday, including one that shut down a state highway in southwest Utah and threatened structures near a small town just west of U.S. Interstate 15 near the Beaver and Iron county line.

The fire north of Cedar City had burned an estimated 6 square miles (15 sq. kilometers) since it broke out early Thursday afternoon south of Minersville, U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Nick Howell said.

State Highway 130 was closed in the area north of Cedar City. It’s wasn’t clear how many homes or other structures might be in danger, and no evacuations have been ordered. The fire is believed to be human-caused, Howell said.

Winds gusting up to 30 mph (48 kph) and temperatures approaching triple digits in some areas triggered a red flag warning across the entire state Thursday afternoon.

Another blaze in Washington County halfway between Cedar City and St. George about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of the Arizona and Nevada state lines had burned nearly 4 square miles (10 sq. kilometers). About 50 crew members were battling flames at that West Valley fire, where officials reported “zero percent” containment. About 10 homes were threatened, but the fire was still at least 3 miles (5 kilometers) away Thursday afternoon.



In the north, a fire near the Idaho state line had burned nearly 5 square miles (13 sq. kilometers). About 100 firefighters were on the scene of that fire, which also had no containment but was not immediately threatening any homes. That fire also was caused by humans on Wednesday, officials said.

No evacuations or serious injuries have been reported at any of the fires. But a firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation at a blaze in Duchesne County southeast of Salt Lake City where at least two homes and some out buildings were destroyed on Wednesday. The cause of that fire remained under investigation. It had burned about 20 acres and was estimated to be 75 percent contained.

Raegan Cutler, who lives in the area near that fire outside Fruitland, told KSL in Salt Lake City, the fire was “like a scene from hell.”

“It is so extremely dangerous out here,” she said Wednesday. “We got no snow this year.”

Several areas reported record temperatures as the windy heat wave made its way into the state on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service said Thursday the overnight low at the airport in Salt Lake City only got down to 79 degrees. That smashed the old record-high minimum temperature for the date set in 1919 at 75 degrees.

Provo tied the record high of 102 on Wednesday set in 2015. The high of 101 in Myton on Wednesday broke the old record of 100 set in 1994.

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