Fire southwest of Gateway contained

A wildfire burning southwest of Gateway was considered fully contained Sunday, which fire managers had expected.

One hot shot crew of about 20 firefighters, one helicopter and one engine will be working throughout the week to completely extinguish and monitor hot spots within the containment line.

Crews on Sunday also were working to rehabilitate the terrain and creating drainage to ensure water drains toward undisturbed areas.

Smoke still may be visible but it should not jump containment lines, fire officials said.

Costs to battle the blaze that spread to more than 6,000 acres in rugged terrain near Paradox were estimated at $4.2 million as of Sunday. Total costs will probably be about $4.3 million to $4.5 million, said fire spokesman David Eaker.

About 20,000 gallons of water from Buckeye Reservoir was used by helicopters to extinguish the blaze. While up 10 homes and 15 other structures were threatened during the duration of the fire that started May 25, the blaze did not venture near any of the buildings, Eaker said.

The fire was human-caused, but investigators do not who started the blaze or how, he said.

As of today, a fire crew from the Manti La Sal National Forest will be taking over the fire scene. Road closures are still in place.

For information on when roads will reopen, call staff at Manti La Sal National Forest at (435) 637-2817.


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