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Middle Canyon fire forces evacuations overnight

TOOELE — The Bureau of Land Management is starting their investigation into what caused a fire in Middle Canyon and the evacuation of 40-residents overnight.

Tooele County Emergency Management spokesman Bucky Whitehouse says when crews arrived, only 3-acres were burning but it quickly spread to 150-acres.

Thunderstorms, campfires, and fireworks were all seen last in Tooele County, any of which could have sparked this wildfire.  Tooele City fire crews also had to contend with two other fires last night, within the city limits, at the same time the Middle Canyon fire roared to life.

More than 150-acres burned in Middle Canyon between 9:30 pm Thursday night and 8 am Friday morning.  Aerial planes are now in the air to help fight the flames and officials are asking people to stay away from the area.

Around 40-residents were forced to evacuate last night and those living on Grimms Roads were allowed back home around 3:30 am. The homeowners on Cassidy Road returned a few hours later.

No evacuation orders are currently in place, however, campers are required to move their trailers and tents out of Middle Canyon in case weather conditions push flames back in their direction.

Tooele County Emergency Management spokesman Bucky Whitehouse says the BLM called out aerial support this morning to fight the flames from the air. Crews from the Tooele Army Depot, North Tooele Fire District, and State Fire departments have been on the ground since 9:30 last night.

As of 11:00 am Friday morning, the fire is zero-percent contained and officials are asking people to not take supplies to the evacuation shelter, as it has everything that it needs at this time.

Smoke will also affect those with respiratory problems and people are being advised to stay indoors.

UPDATE:  Saturday, July 28, the Middle Canyon fire has now burned 200 acres and is 5% contained.  Both Middle Canyon and Butterfield Canyon roads are closed to the public.

Utah Wildfire officials say “due to inaccessible terrain and limited resources, dozers and air resources will be utilized to slow progression up canyon on the north and northeast flanks until ground resources arrive.  Objectives are to protect Tooele municipal watershed, and establish an anchor point to minimize the fire spread.”

Stay tuned to KSL Newsradio 1160 AM 102.7 FM, and listen to for updates.