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Twitchell Canyon fire closes I-70

Smoke from the Twitchell Canyon wildfire closed Interstate 70 in central Utah on Sunday as high winds fed the blaze.

A 23-mile stretch of the roadway had been closed about 1:30 p.m., starting near the intersection with Interstate 15 and ending near Sevier, said Twitchell Canyon fire spokesman John Zapell. The winds came from the south and pushed the fire closer to I-70. Eastbound traffic along the interstate remains restricted to one lane near the fire perimeter.

More than 500 firefighters were battling the blaze in central Utah's Fishlake National Forest. Ignited by lightning about two months ago and allowed to burn for resource management, the blaze is burning in dry, mixed conifer forests and brush lands in steep, remote terrain.

It had grown to about 22,800 acres Sunday, though the fire did not threaten any structures.

Lindsay Whitehurst