Fire on Utah-Idaho border grows to 25 sq. miles

A wildfire on the Utah-Idaho border grew to more than 25 square miles Sunday evening.

Jennifer Hansen with the Northern Utah Interagency Fire said late Sunday that the State Fire near Portage, Utah, had pushed significantly to the north and was about a mile south of the Idaho community of Samaria.

The threat to the town is minimal and no evacuation orders are in place, Hansen said. She said some residents have decided leave of their own accord, but it was unclear how many.

The fire was 38 percent contained Sunday morning but Hansen said officials have not estimated containment since then.

Conditions have been slightly windy Sunday, which fueled some of the fire’s growth, but Hansen said officials do not expect the blaze to grow much overnight.

Two Utah National Guard Blackhawk helicopters are assisting fire crews with the lightning-caused blaze.

Gov. Gary Herbert authorized Guard members to help fight wildfires burning in the northern part of the state Sunday.

The governor’s office said in a statement that extra air support from the Guard members was requested to help battle flames in steep canyons because fires in other parts of the state have diverted scare air resources.

Utah National Guard members are also assisting firefighting efforts with the Millville Fire in Cache County, which had burned almost 3 square miles south of Logan as of Sunday evening.

Logan City fire marshal Craig Humphreys told The Salt Lake Tribune the fire was reported around 4 a.m. Sunday between Millville Canyon and Blacksmith Fork Canyon.

Humphreys said lightning caused four separate fires in the area, two of which burned into each other.

Crews were working to protect a barn that stores hay, but no other structures were threatened, he said.

More than 20 Cache County Firefighters and U.S. Forest Service crew members were fighting the fire Sunday.

A third National Guard Blackhawk, airplanes and a hand crew from the Lone Peak Hot Shots were assisting the effort.

Elsewhere in the state, smaller fires were burning Sunday but were not threatening structures.

The Patch Springs Fire, roughly 30 miles west of Tooele, grew to about 1.5 square miles late Sunday afternoon. Fire officials were also monitoring the 6-acre Mount Elmer Fire, which broke out in the Mount Naomi Wilderness on Friday, but crews were not staffing the fire because they were battling higher-priority blazes elsewhere.

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