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Updated: 2:31 PM-
Crews battling the growing Salt Creek fire are concentrating their efforts today on the southeast edge of the central Utah blaze, which is burning about two miles from the community of Fountain Green.
Overnight, heavy northwest winds pushed flames toward the town of about 1,000, said Terry McDonald, spokesman for the elite Type 1 team overseeing firefighting efforts. The fire consumed an additional 2,000 acres in an area of Sanpete County, boosting the total acreage blackened to more than 21,300 acres.
Though fire growth has been less on the west side, the blaze has grown in all four directions and looks like "an octopus," said fire behavioral analyst Bruce Davenport.
Today, a specially trained "hot shot" crew will work with several engine companies, bulldozer operators and a helicopter to protect the mountainous region's homes, businesses and other structures. About 250 firefighters were on the lines today.
And they may get some help from winds expected to grow throughout the day out of the southeast, pushing the blaze away from Fountain Green, McDonald said.
A 10-mile stretch of Nephi Canyon from Nephi to Fountain Green remained closed today, while some 70 residents of the subdivisions of Holiday Oaks, Oaker Hills, Indian Ridge and Elk Ridge remained evacuated.
Meanwhile, the Winecup Complex fire in northwestern Utah's Box Elder County was burning out of control in sparsely populated sage brush and juniper. Fire managers said the series of blazes had scorched more than 198,400 acres by mid-day, moving into southwestern Idaho and northeastern Nevada.
Fire spokeswoman Erin Darboven said crews were letting the fire burn, focusing their attentions on protecting scattered ranches and tiny towns of Grouse Creek and Etna. No injuries were reported and no structures had been lost thus far to the flames, but a voluntary evacuation notice was issued to three ranches in the Grouse Creek area as a precautionary measure.
Near central Utah's Mount Nebo, lightning caused a flair up Sunday night in a wilderness area, but a helicopter got to it quickly and it wasn't expected to be a problem Monday morning, said incident commander Mark Ruggiero.
Mostly cloudy skies were forecast for Monday evening with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Cooler temperatures should only reach about 90 degrees and relative humidity was expected to increase to about 23 percent.
Indeed, the weather gave firefighters working the Salt Creek fire a break Sunday night. Late night rain storms brought rain just where it was needed -- on the outskirts of Fountain Green.
Kade Anderson, who was raised in Fountain Green, watched the fires with his wife, Jessica, from a road block in town. Anderson said he's seen nothing like this fire in his lifetime.
Even though the fire was getting closer to town, Anderson didn't think too many people would leave, even if ordered.
"[There are] a lot of stubborn old people who would rather burn to death than leave here," Anderson said.
Michelle Fidler, fire information officer, said the fire remains at 15 percent containment. Though the rainfall overnight helped, today's heat could dry things out and leave the flames more tinder dry fuel.
As of today, eight major wildfires -- or complexes of fires -- were still blazing in Utah. In addition to Salt Creek and the Winecup Complex acreage totals, southwestern Utah had lost more than 24,000 acres to the Paradise, Radio and Dakota Hills blazes and eastern Utah's Neola North fire, 89 percent contained, had blackened nearly 44,000 acres.