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NATURE LENDS FIRE CREWS A HELPING HAND

How a couple of days changes things.

While everything that could go wrong went wrong for crews battling the "Trojan No. 2" blaze over the weekend, just about everything went right for firefighters Monday and Tuesday.The fire - which appears to have started Saturday afternoon on or near the Trojan Corp. plant in Spanish Fork Canyon - continues to burn for its fourth day Tuesday and has already burned more than 2,500 acres of Uinta National Forest land.

But thanks to Mother Nature's cooperation - in the way of much-needed moisture and more predictable winds - crews fighting the blaze expect to have it contained by Wednesday night and possibly controlled a day later, Uinta National Forest spokeswoman Lola Murray said.

Three more 20-man handcrews arrived Monday, bringing the number of firefighters up to more than 300. Bill Roach, spokesman for the firefighting crews, said the crews are using five different attack points and two different drop points around Maple Mountain.

Spanish Fork Police officials and a Forest Service investigator are still looking into the fire's cause, although some residents are pointing their fingers due south - in the direction of the Trojan Corp.

Mapleton leaders recently passed a master-plan goal, in which the mayor and City Council pledged to "preserve the beauty of Maple Mountain." However, the fire has consumed much of the mountain, which was also charred by a smaller but more disastrous blaze that caused a subsequent mudslide during the fall of 1989.

Three northern-Utah fires started by lightning Saturday are expected to be contained Tuesday.

They include the Heiner Canyon fire, which has burned 1,800 acres near I-80 and Echo Junction; the Echo fire, which has burned 1,250 acres 12 miles east of Echo Reservoir; and the Big Canyon fire, which has burned 200 acres in the Wellsville wilderness area.

Fire officials expect the Big Canyon fire to be controlled Wednesday but have not announced control estimates for either the Heiner Canyon or Echo fires.