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A rash of lightning-sparked southern Utah wildfires had crews mobilizing Saturday while water- and fire-retardant-bearing helicopters and tanker planes assaulted the flames.
The blazes, ignited by lightning strikes that accompanied thunderstorms late Friday, were burning in the 87,900-acre Paiute Wilderness, southwest of St. George, and nearby stretches of remote high desert along the southwestern Utah and northern Arizona border. Two of the blazes were in the vicinity of the tiny town of Veyo, but no evacuations were ordered; another was spotted burning in a Washington County section of Dixie National Forest.
Authorities said seven of the eight fires were burning in Arizona and Nevada, but one fire the Plateau Fire was burning about 10 miles south of Bloomington. Officials said that blaze, which had burned about 2,000 acres, was visible from St. George and Bloomington.
No structures or private lands were threatened by the fires. No injuries had been reported.
"The big challenge for us will be potential complications from the weather," said Kenton Call, spokesman for Color County Interagency Fire Center. "More thunderstorms are expected this weekend. If they bring moisture with the lightning, that could be good. If not, we could have another challenging day on Sunday."
Officials said some of the fires are proving difficult to fight because they are in such remote locations with little access.
Reporter Janelle Stecklein contributed to this story.