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Conner Fire

A photo taken from the City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park visitors center on Saturday shows smoke  from the Conner Fire billowing above the Jim Sage Mountains near Malta.

MALTA — A human-caused fire in southeast Cassia County grew to 13,500 acres on Monday.

The fire, burning about four miles southeast of Malta, was caused by an agricultural burn adjacent to public land that got out of control.

“They were burning a lot that was not a cultivated field but a pasture used for agriculture,” Kelsey Brizendine, fire information officer with the Bureau of Land Management, said on Monday afternoon.

Although there are structures in the area they are not immediately threatened, she said.

Brizendine said the BLM does not designate what types of structures are threatened but they could include anything from a residence to a cell tower.

The fire is burning timber, brush and grass and is smoldering and creeping, a BLM press release said.

Conner fire

In this photo shot west of Malta on Sunday, smoke can still be seen above the Jim Sage Mountains from the Conner Fire.

Firefighters are constructing containment lines on the east, west and northern edges of the fire with aircraft working on the southern flank.

The fire activity has slowed and the majority of the flames are inside the containment lines, the release said.

Wallace Keck, park superintendent for the City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park, took photos of the fire from the visitors center over the weekend.

At one point the fire tried to creep down the side of the Jim Sage Mountains towards the park, making them nervous, he said.

But on Monday there was no sign of the fire or fire-fighting planes from the Almo side, he said.

The fire was first reported about 2 p.m. Saturday and unpredictable winds caused it to grow quickly.

Officials estimate the fire will be contained by 8 p.m. Tuesday and controlled by 8 p.m. Thursday.

Multiple agencies have crews and equipment battling the blaze, including Raft River Rural Fire Department, one Sawtooth National Forest engine, two Boise BLM engines, six Twin Falls engines, two hand crews, two dozers and a BLM camp crew.

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