Wildfire Threatens Two Tiny Towns in Utah

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A wildfire driven by wind during the night threatened a southern Utah (search) community on Saturday just miles from a town that had been ordered evacuated.

State and Washington County officials made preparations to issue an evacuation order for the several hundred residents of Veyo if the 17,000-acre blaze moved much closer, U.S. Forest Service fire information officer David Chevalier said.

Veyo is six miles east of Gomes (search) Saturday morning, Chevalier said.

Near Golden, Colo., a fast-moving grass fire was stopped after roaring to within 50 feet of several homes, and on Saturday firefighters monitored remaining hot spots as temperatures soared toward 100 degrees.

Authorities said fireworks likely started the fire, which grew to 175 acres before it was contained late Friday.

Deputies questioned three teenagers who had a backpack containing fireworks, said Jefferson County sheriff's spokeswoman Jacki Tallman (search). The three were released to their parents Friday night. The sheriff's department didn't return repeated calls Saturday seeking comment about possible charges.

The fire, about 5 miles south of Golden, produced a plume of smoke visible from Denver International Airport, 40 miles to the east.

No evacuations were ordered but residents were told to leave if they felt threatened. Fire crews helped residents armed with hoses keep the fire from reaching the homes.

Elsewhere, residents asked to evacuate about 350 houses around the central Arizona community of Punkin Center had been allowed to go back home.

A 70,200-acre fire had gotten to within a half-mile of their neighborhoods, but firefighters successfully burned away vegetation in the path of the flames, said Angela Goldman, a spokeswoman for the team fighting the fire.

"Things are looking very good," said Dave Killebrew, a fire spokesman. "The fire has really died down."