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'Anderson Junction Fire' evacuations lifted; Caused by vehicle dragging chain, officials say

utah wildfire.jpg
Posted at 5:00 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 01:21:11-04

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah — Officials have determined the cause of a wildfire sparked Monday in southern Utah.

The "Anderson Junction Fire" is burning near Toquerville at 350 acres and is 30 percent contained at the latest report given at 9 p.m.

It was sparked around 3:30 p.m., and later Monday evening officials confirmed that it was started by a vehicle with a chain dragging on the ground.

The fire spread fast during the day due to high winds (20-30 mph), temperatures in the 90s, and low humidity. The latest report says the fire is smoldering.

Federal, state and local wildfire agencies battled the blaze on the ground and from the air.

About 30 structures were threatened by the fire with 20 homes evacuated earlier in the evening, but the evacuations have now been lifted.

Officials say no one has been injured. Three outbuildings were destroyed and one was damaged.

State route 17 was closed at I-15 and at Ash Creek but has since been reopened.