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BOX ELDER BARS VEHICLES FROM FIRE-CHARRED ACRES

Nearly 4,000 acres of mountainside above Box Elder County's Famous Fruit Way between Perry and Willard, which burned in a fire started by lightning on Aug. 16, have been closed to vehicles, except on maintained roads. Fire damage makes the area extremely susceptible to flood and mudslides.

Box Elder County commissioners passed the resolution restricting traffic in an effort to control erosion caused by off-road vehicles. The ruts carved by off-road vehicles act as ditches that carry water to and severely damage land at lower elevations when it rains.Commissioners said that persons caught violating the restriction will be cited. Information on violations can be directed to the Box Elder County sheriff's office.

No homes or orchards were burned, although the fire burned within 200 feet of at least one home. The cost of fighting the blaze is estimated at $235,000, with about $35,000 of that will be the county's responsibility.