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Firefighters expect to contain a 3,000-acre brush fire Monday night that forced the evacuation of two homes and threatened eight others over the weekend on the Utah-Juab county line.

The blaze was about 80 percent contained before fire crews temporarily retreated Sunday night because of erratic winds and burning debris falling down the steep terrain."We felt that was hazardous enough that we needed to pull the crews off," said Loyal Clark, Uinta Forest Service spokeswoman. The first big fire of the season is burning on public and private lands between Goshen and Mona, about 80 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Forty firefighters, including a 20-person American Indian crew from Idaho, were battling the flames again Monday morning. Crews used bulldozers to cut a fire break to the west. Cliffs to the northwest provided a natural firebreak, Clark said. Firefighters were able to cut a line on the east side of the blaze Sunday.

The Allred Fire, so name because it's burning on property formerly known as the Allred Ranch, charred grass, sagebrush, pinyon and juniper.

The lightning-caused blaze started about 12:15 a.m. Saturday and had threatened 10 homes by mid-afternoon. Two families were evacuated as thermal winds pushed flames toward the houses. Quickly cut fire lines and water trucks managed to repel the flames before any homes were damaged, Clark said. One U.S. Forest Service fire truck was scorched Saturday.

The evacuated families have returned to their homes and no other structures are immediately threatened by the fire Monday. No one has been injured in the fire, Clarksaid.

Crews initially had trouble getting to the fire. They let it burn until about 7 a.m. Sunday.

"The lightening struck the highest part of the mountain in a spot where we couldn't get trucks into," Greg Newton, Juab County fire marshal.

Clark said more dry lightning strikes are expected Monday and Tuesday. "So, we could have some more (fires) pop up," she said.

Newton, who said the Allred Fire sent flames 50 feet into the air, fears the worst is yet to come this summer.

"I started fighting fires 28 years ago and I have never seen a big major blowup this soon in the season," he said. "These are the kinds of fires we fight in August. Everything is so dry, even the big stuff, that it is just powder tinder."

Deseret News staff writer Joe Costanzo and correspondent Myrna Trauntvein contributed to this report.