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After lifting all evacuation orders in the Pine Valley area Tuesday, fire officials reported 52 percent containment of Washington County's 2,296-acre Saddle Fire on Wednesday.

Portions of the Pine Valley Wilderness area — including Forsythe Canyon Trail and Goat Springs Trail — remained closed to public access due to the wildfire and public safety concerns, fire officials said.

Officials advised residents to monitor fire activity and use caution around working fire resources while the wildfire continued to demonstrate moderate fire behavior with isolated torching, backing and creeping. They estimated the fire would be fully contained by August 1.

Firefighters monitored and strengthened control lines Wednesday, noting that the forecast predicted no moisture for the upcoming week as a warm, dry air mass remained over the area.

Smoke was expected to remain visible in the area within fire control lines south of Lloyd's Canyon for several days, fire officials said.

Crews of fewer than 200 firefighters continued to mop up and extinguish hot spots along accessible areas of the fire perimeter from the ground, while an aircraft distributed fire retardant from above.

A temporary flight restriction remained in place over the fire area. Non-agency aircraft is restricted from the fire area for safety of firefighting activities, including unmanned aircraft systems or drones.

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