Fire crews were forced to play Hercules Tuesday - battling a multiheaded monster that grew as fighting intensified.
Erratic winds split the Little Sahara fire into several heads as flames traveled north into Tooele County, threatening homes in tiny Lofgreen.The Tooele County Sheriff's office ordered Lofgreen's eight families to evacuate, but most opted to stay in their homes as 400 firefighters tried to tame the blaze.
The Little Sahara fire narrowly missed the mining towns of Eureka and Mammoth in Juab County on Monday, although residents are still on evacuation alert.
Ground crews aboard bulldozers built firebreaks Tuesday while helicopters dumped thousands of gallons of water on the lightning-sparked flames, which have charred 45,000 acres since Thursday.
Firefighters were expecting "extreme fire behavior" Wednesday because of low humidity, gusty winds and dry thunderstorms.
Officials say fire crews' highest priority is holding the fire west of highways U.S. 6 and SR 36. Road closures are possible in the area to protect firefighters and the public.
More than 300 crews were expected to battle the 10-day-old Pole Creek fire Wednesday.
Flames have consumed more than 4,500 acres of brush and timber about 15 miles west of Cir-cle-ville in Piute County, according to Interagency Fire Center spokeswoman Kathy Jo Pollock.
The lightning-caused Pole Creek fire is burning in a northeast direction and is not threatening any structures, said Pollock.
The Soldier Pass fire glowed bright orange all over the West Mountain area in Utah County Tuesday evening, crisscrossing the landscape and worrying officials through the night.
Loyal Clark, Uintah National Forest spokesman, said the total acreage burned so far totals 2,500 acres and the prognosis for containment is not good.
Clark said the high grasses on the mountain "just explode once the fire hits it. It's a very hot fire."
Communication towers on the upper ridge of the mountain have been threatened. The towers supply all Utah County emergency services including the Forest Service radio, the Sheriff's Department and 911 dispatches.
The flames burned within a quarter of a mile of an explosives plant known as Ireco and threatened three homes on the west side of Utah Lake.
However, Clark said Wednesday that the fire is a little more under control due to a cold front with cloud cover that came in after 2 a.m.
About 320 people are battling the Sheep Rock fire in Tooele County. Flames have charred 7,750 acres in a mountain range about 15 miles southwest of Vernon, said Interagency Fire spokeswoman Sharon Knowlton.
Fire has also burned about 60 acres in Weber Canyon after train sparks apparently sparked a blaze Tuesday. The area was inaccessible to engines, so air tankers were enlisted to douse hot spots, Knowlton said.