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NEW FIRES IN S.L., TOOELE TURN UP THE HEAT ON UTAH CREWS

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Two Salt Lake area fires and one Tooele fire were added to the list of five major statewide blazes that have kept firefighters hopping all week.

- Flames scorched 110 acres of grassland near the Salt Lake International Airport Saturday, exhausting heat-weary crews and sending up a wall of black smoke visible throughout the valley.Firefighters responded about 2:45 p.m. to find a blaze winding west along a two-mile stretch near 700 South.

"We were dealing with a fire stretching from 4200 West all the way up to 5600 West," said Salt Lake Fire battalion assistant Dennis Mc-Kone. "We ended up having to call in 35 of our firefighters, along with auxiliary (water) trucks and teams from the Air National Guard."

Although no structures were threatened, nearby electric lines forced crews to assume a defensive position at the flanks of one section of the fire encircling a construction salvage yard at 4400 West.

After cutting power to the lines about 5 p.m., firefighters attacked the burning salvage yard - smothering flames with nearly 1,000 gallons of water a minute.

The elements, added McKone, also proved formidable enemies for fire teams.

"Water shortages are always a big concern with this type of fire. There are only 3 hydrants in this area," he said. "The wind can shift so suddenly that you have to be ready for any changes."

Although flames were finally doused about 6:30 p.m., mop-up crews remained on the scene Saturday night to water down and bulldoze potential hot spots.

An investigation is pending.

- An upstairs unit of the Summertree Apartments, 2240 W. 3800 South, burst into flames, causing approximately $60,000 to $70,000 damage, a West Valley City fire department spokesman said.

Firefighters arrived at the scene about 6:15 p.m. to find flames shooting out of the upper southeast unit of the H complex, said Dep. Chief John Evans. No cause has been determined, although many residents said they have complained of ongoing problems with faulty air conditioning units.

The fire apparently started in a bedroom closet, said Evans. The unit's occupant, name and age unavailable, smelled smoke and opened her closet to find her belongings on fire.

Apartment resident Dan Humphreys and his friend Tony Johnston smelled smoke and initially thought it was a burning barbecue.

"I walked outside to where Dan was playing his guitar and saw flames coming from the balcony," said Johnston. "I told him what I saw and he ran inside and called 911."

There were no injuries, Evans said.

- Just when crews were getting the upper hand on the remaining wildfires, a new one emerged just south of the Tooele Army Depot on South Mountain, said a spokeswoman for the Interagency Fire Center.

The South Mountain fire was spotted Saturday morning, said Kathy Jo Pollock. By Saturday afternoon, the fire had consumed 40 acres and was still burning out of control. About seven engines are out on the initial attack.

Meanwhile, firefighters were gaining the upper hand on other fires.

- The Turkey fire: Located 7 miles west of Nephi, the blaze burned about 4000 acres by Saturday after being sparked by a Friday lightning storm. Rains helped slow the blaze but no containment estimate was ready as of Saturday night.

- Lone Ridge fire: Lightning-caused fire 6 miles west of Mona charred 100 acres Friday before being contained about 4:30 p.m.

- Puddle Valley fire: Flames consumed 30,720 acres before being contained Friday at 8 p.m. Firefighters had it under control at 8 p.m. Saturday. The fire was started Monday by lightning.

- Camp Williams fire: Blaze has been burning since Monday. About 3,300 acres have been consumed. Estimated time of control is sometime Sunday.