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Crews gain edge in Utah County; fire focus shifts to Vernal area

PROVO -- With two Utah County brush fires either controlled or contained, crews have been sent to help battle a number of smaller fires in the Vernal area.

The Cedar Valley fire burned more than 3,000 acres, not 4,500 as previously estimated, and was brought under control about 6 p.m. Sunday, said Kathy Jo Pollock, spokeswoman for the Forest Service. The fire was located west of Lehi, about four to five miles west of Utah Lake.Fire crews were released Monday morning.

The 2,000-acre West Mountain fire -- at the south end of Utah Lake, about a mile north of Genola -- has been contained and is expected to be controlled by about 6 p.m. Monday.

"Things are looking good," Pollock said.

The largest fire in the Vernal area is a 250-plus acre fire in White Rocks, about 20 miles northwest of Roosevelt. It is not yet under control, according to Bill Hayes of the U.S. Forest Service. The fire was reportedly caused by humans.

Other fires in the area ranged from 10 to 50 acres and were caused by last week's lightning storms. Hayes calls them "sleeper fires." The lightning strikes and the fires lay dormant until the wind picks up.

"Everything's looking good, but the winds will be stronger today than yesterday," Hayes said.

Fire crews have been called in from Salt Lake and Utah Counties to help with the fires. All Flame 'N Go crews have also been sent out to the different fires.

"I hope we don't get any more fires. Our initial crews are depleted," Hayes said. "Our resources here are stretched pretty thin."