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Wildfires spread across Utah

  |   June 6, 2012 at 3:55 PM
RICHFIELD, Utah, June 6 (UPI) -- Utah firefighters were working to contain wildfires that had burned nearly 7,000 acres across the state, officials said Wednesday.

The fires are in Utah's high deserts and forests on the border between Nevada and Utah. The largest blaze is the White Rock fire in the Hamlin Valley, north of Caliente, Nev. The fire, sparked by lightning, had burned nearly 5,900 acres and had been declared 20 percent contained, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The fire is also the site of the crash of an air tanker that killed two Idaho pilots Sunday, which the National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating.

Fire crews Tuesday evening recommended residents evacuate the Monroe Meadows area, northeast of Marysvale, Utah, as the Box Creek fire, which had burned 250 acres, approached.

Fishlake National Forest spokesman John Zapell said the Box Creek fire began as a "prescribed," or controlled burn, to reduce wildfire risk while revitalizing forest growth and got out of control after being fanned by winds.

In Utah's nearby Wild Horse Canyon, Bureau of Indian Affairs fire monitors said they were watching a 25-acre blaze in terrain difficult to access, which was ignited by lightning Sunday.

The 500-acre Lost Lake fire, southwest of Teasdale, Utah, started Sunday and continued to burn out of control.

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