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Crews still battling Zion fire

ZION NATIONAL PARK — Firefighters are continuing their efforts Saturday to contain a fire burning in Kolob Canyon along Zion National Park and Bureau of Land Management lands.

The fire began during a thunderstorm Tuesday night near Black Ridge, two miles east of I-15 and six miles south of the Kolob Canyon visitors center, park officials said. High winds pushed the fire in a northeastern direction, and it is estimated to be 744 acres in size. The fire is 85 percent contained, and full containment is expected by the end of the day, officials said.

Five helicopters and more than 140 firefighters were working Saturday morning to the contain the fire, but many of them were expected to be released to await new assignments once the blaze is under control.

For the safety of park visitors, the entire Kolob Canyon district of the park will remain closed through Saturday. The scenic drive is expected to open to the public Sunday.

Other closure areas in the park include Laverkin Creek, Middle Fork of Taylor Creek, Timber Creek overlook and Hop Valley. The Kolob Canyon visitors center remains open.

— Clayton Norlen