This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Crews had tamed all but one of Utah's major wildfires by Friday, and firefighters hoped by nightfall to complete containment lines around that remaining blaze in southwestern Utah.
The Toquerville Falls wildfire had blackened 207 acres of grass, mixed brush, pinyon and juniper trees north of the town of Toquerville along the east slopes of Black Ridge, said Nick Howell of the Color Country Fire Management Office.
Sparked by lightning on Tuesday, the fire was 30 percent contained as of Friday morning, Howell said.
No structures were threatened, and by Friday afternoon closures were lifted for hiking trails in the Kolob canyons of Zion National Park.
About 60 firefighters, aided by three water-bearing helicopters and three air tankers loaded with fire retardant, were working Friday to bring the Toquerville Falls blaze to heel.
Howell said the work was being made particularly tough due to the rugged wilderness area's terrain. Still, crews hoped to have the fire fully contained by 8 p.m. Friday.
Meantime, crews reached 100 percent containment of the Maple Canyon wildfire, a lightning-caused blaze that charred 4,900 acres near northern Utah's Promontory Mountains.
Jason Curry, of the state Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, declared the fire contained as of 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
The Maple Canyon blaze had begun about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Initially whipped by winds gusting to 40 mph, it threatened several outbuildings near the Fort Ranch before being turned back.
"Red Flag" fire danger warnings that had been issued for much of the state on Thursday were allowed to expire Friday. However, smoke from the fires lingered on Friday, prompting the state Department of Environmental Quality to issue "Yellow" air quality alerts for Salt Lake, Davis, Box Elder, Cache, Utah and Weber counties.
Yellow alerts recommend that the elderly, young children and people with compromised breathing avoid prolonged outdoor activity, and urge motorists to restrict their driving or use mass transit.