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Crews battling at least 8 Utah wildfires

MINERSVILLE, Beaver County — Firefighters continued Friday to battle at least eight wildfires burning throughout Utah.

The Black Mountain Fire that started Thursday about 3 miles south of Minersville threatened a cabin and communications tower. About 200 firefighters were on scene battling that active blaze Friday, said fire information officer Nick Howell.

Although firefighters expected worse weather conditions, Friday was "a much better day. The critical fire weather that was forecasted is fortunately not materializing. And so we've got much calmer winds today, and fire behavior is showing that," Howell said.

Crews were expected to make "significant" progress on the blaze Saturday, state fire officials said.

The fire was sparked Thursday due to a rollover traffic accident and grew to about 6,000 acres by Friday evening. As of Friday evening, the fire had 30 percent containment. State Route 130, which connects Minnersville with Cedar City, Enoch and Parowan, was reopened Friday.

At least seven other Utah fires were also still burning:

• A new fire, the Willow Patch Fire, sparked Friday off state Route 24 in Sevier County and burned an estimated 500 acres, with zero containment. S.R. 24 was closed Friday in both directions, according to Jason Curry, public information officer for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

• The West Valley Wildfire has burned more than 7,700 acres on Pine Valley Mountain near Gardner Peak in Washington County. It had zero containment Friday. Fire officials said they determined that an abandoned campfire started that blaze.

Sierra Hellstrom, the fire's public information officer, said the fire was "still quite a ways away from New Harmony" and Pine Valley, and posed no current dangers to buildings or people. She said there was less wind in the area Friday than during the previous day, and firefighters were "feeling good."

• The Fruitland Shed Fire in Fruitland, Duchesne County, was fully contained Thursday at an estimated 20 acres. One home and an unoccupied trailer were destroyed, according to Mike Eriksson, a spokesman for the state Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

One firefighter suffered smoke inhalation from the fire but was expected to recover, he said.

• The Rough Canyon Fire in Broad Canyon, in Box Elder County between Plymouth and Portage, has burned more than 5,400 acres and was 80 percent contained Friday.

• The Dry Canyon Fire in Parowan has burned 23 acres and was 95 percent contained Friday. Fire officials expected the fire to be totally contained Saturday "if all goes well."

• The Willow Creek Fire, which has burned more than 1,300 acres in the Willow Creek drainage near Strawberry Reservoir, was 96 percent contained Friday.

• The Sauls Canyon Fire, which was sparked in May by a lightning strike but recently flared up again, had burned about 200 acres. Crews said they have the upper hand.

• The Trail Mountain Fire, which began as a prescribed burn before it got out of control, has burned 17,830 acres in the Manti-La Sal National Forest in Emery County near Orangeville. It was 80 percent contained Friday.

A red flag warning from the National Weather Service remained in effect through Friday in many areas of Utah.

Contributing: Alex Cabrero, Caitlin Burchill