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Crews continue to battle the Millville Fire Sunday

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Posted at 2:52 PM, Aug 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-19 08:09:32-04

By Bryan Uhri

CACHE COUNTY, Utah - More than 150 people remain evacuated Monday morning due to a large fire that has consumed at least 2,900 acres near the town of Millville.

Authorities said the fire was 40 percent contained as of Monday morning.

Scott Bushman came out of retirement to fight the flames, and he said the fire has grown since it was started by lightning last week.

"I would have just thought it would’ve worked itself out and gone out up there, but it hasn’t," he said. "It’s just gotten bigger and bigger and bigger."

Larry Lucas, U.S. Forest Service spokesman, said the difficult terrain has kept firefighters working day and night to gain greater containment.

"It's steep and rocky with, every 100 yards, a cliff," he said. "It's too dangerous really to put people on."

The fire currently threatens 167 structures and has caused a mandatory evacuation of residents and campers in the area. The evacuation area begins at the mouth of Blacksmith Fork Canyon and includes the closure of Highway 101 to all non-essential traffic.

Crews are working with air support to prevent the fire from cresting the mountain ridge between Millville Canyon and Blacksmith Fork Canyon, which is crucial to maintaining control of the fire. Authorities are also concerned that the fire may jump the road to the south, which has been protecting homes in the area.

"Kind of the worst case scenario would be Left Hand Fork, but we're wanting to stop it quite a bit before there," Lucas said.

Ground and engine crews are working in conjunction with three helicopters to place fire lines and retardant along the fire’s route. According to a press release, an additional hot shots crew has been requested, but area fires are preventing the additional support.

Authorities said that high winds and low humidity are pushing the fire into complicated terrain, and crews are relying on air support to extinguish the small hot spots

A photo gallery of the Millville Fire is available here.