Fire crews continue to battle blazes in Tooele County

Posted at 10:22 PM, Jul 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-23 00:22:21-04

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah -- On a nearly 100-degree day, it seems to only be getting hotter in Tooele County, as the skyline has been filling with smoke since Monday.

“It's just one of those things that can be a watch out situation for firefighters,” said Kim Osborn, spokeswoman for the Anaconda Fire.

Changing winds and the temperature helped the fire burn through about 1,100 acres, getting dangerously close to several homes on Monday night.

By Tuesday, it was about 25 percent contained.

“If you look up on the hill, the amount of smoke that there was yesterday or last night compared to now, that tells us that they've got things going well,” Osborn said.

But there were still six fires in total burning in the county by Tuesday evening.

“There’s quite a bit of smoke,” said Chad Douglas, who was the designated spokesman for the Sheep Fire.

The Sheep Fire, which sparked near Dugway, burned through about 1,800 acres within just of couple days.

To combat the flames, crews started lighting backfires on Tuesday to get rid of brush and grass before the fire could burn through it.

The main goal was to prevent the flames from reaching the Pony Express Road, which has been serving as a natural breaking point for the flames, as there is no flammable material along the street.

“If we could get a little bit cooler temperatures and then lower the wind speed, I think that would help resources quite a bit,” Douglas said.

As nightfall approached, a perimeter had been established around a portion of the Sheep Fire to prevent it from moving.

Officials expected to know much more about containment levels by Wednesday morning.