Utah wildfire evacuees allowed to return home

About 2,300 Utah wildfire evacuees were allowed to return to their homes Saturday evening after officials determined the blaze no longer posed a threat to them.

The decision came after the fire had burned Friday within a quarter mile of some homes in Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain, about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City, Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Teresa Rigby said.

No homes have burned, she said, and fire officials were comfortable with the decision to lift the evacuation order after seeing how the 9-square-mile blaze behaved Saturday afternoon during high winds and high temperatures.

"The fire itself is still active but it no longer is a direct threat to homes," Rigby told The Associated Press. "Most of the fire is up on the mountain at this time and not near the subdivisions."

The evacuation order, imposed Friday, affected nearly 600 homes and roughly 2,300 residents, according to an updated count released Saturday by fire officials.

Winds pushed some of the fire back on itself Saturday afternoon, Rigby said, and crews managed to put out "hot spots" closest to homes.

The fire that officials believe was started Thursday by target shooters was 30 percent contained Saturday evening, with full containment expected Tuesday.

Crews also were battling a 16,500-acre brush fire on high desert near the town of Delta in central Utah.

The human-caused fire was 60 percent contained Saturday evening, BLM spokesman Don Carpenter said, and had burned no homes after breaking out Friday.

While the fire was burning roughly eight miles from the communities of Lynndyl and Leamington, it posed no threat to them at this time, he said.