Crews continue to fight wildfire near Provo

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A wildfire burns near Provo neighborhoods, consuming several hundred acres overnight. (Hannah Miner)

Over 100 firefighters are now on scene working to contain what has been named the Alaska Fire that started Tuesday night near Provo.

The blaze began on Tuesday and had burned 30 to 40 acres by the time firefighters arrived on the scene at 11:30 p.m. The fire covered as many as 450 acres on Wednesday, but by 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, the fire was down to 400 acres and was 10% contained.

Forest Service public affairs specialist KJ Pollock said Wednesday’s rain helped efforts to combat the fire, but as the weather heated up again on Thursday, things would again begin to dry out, making the fire more difficult to contain.

“Firefighters are using full suppression techniques to contain this fire, but the terrain is very steep and rocky, which will not allow hand crews to access some areas,” the most recent news release said.

A Forest Service news release says the fire has been determined to be human-caused and is currently under investigation.

The fire started near Oregon and Alaska avenues on the south end of Provo but was burning uphill was not threatening structures in the area. Pollock said no evacuations have been ordered and it is unlikely that evacuations will be necessary. Many residents living in neighborhoods nearest to the fire stood outside Wednesday morning, observing the flames from their yards.

Crews work to contain the Alaska Fire burning near Provo neighborhoods Wednesday, consuming several hundred acres after it was first reported late Tuesday. (Hannah Miner)

Pollock said crews from Utah County, Provo City and the Fire Service are working with helicopters and air tankers. A Type 3 Incident Management Team took control of operations to combat the blaze Wednesday morning. Such teams are composed of agencies from multiple jurisdictions and are typically used in cases of extended incidents, according to the US Fire Administration.

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