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Fire burns 69 acres in Saratoga Springs

Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News

Fire officials are investigating the cause of a 69-acre blaze that burned sagebrush and wheat Wednesday and was visible to afternoon rush-hour traffic in south Salt Lake County.

The fire started about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and grew rapidly with the help of northwest winds. The fire mostly stayed within Saratoga Springs' city limits. About 40 firefighters were on scene, including many from nearby towns and a Bureau of Land Management helicopter that poured water from overhead, Saratoga Springs Fire Chief Dave Vickers said. As flames marched uphill and consumed a wheat field, crews started a second fire, a "back burn," that spread into the original fire and snuffed them both. Crews had the fire controlled within two hours but were expected to remain on scene through early Thursday to douse hot spots, Vickers said. An official cause has not been determined, although investigators believe it could be related to gunfire by dove hunters, Vickers said. The dove hunt began Monday.