Wildfires may have become a common sight in Utah & California in the last few years, but when news of 3.500-acre wildfires surface, nobody can keep calm. Saturday night a fire started burning in a northeast direction. It threatened several structures, so evacuations were organized around the Taylor Mountain Road and the Steinaker Reservoir. Authorities say that the fire spread to 3.569 acres by late Saturday and that they have only managed to contain approximately 5% of it. The fire ignited very close to the Dinosaur National Monument on the Colorado-Utah border. It was carried by the wind closer to the Taylor Mountain Road, were restrictions have been places.
Officials quickly took charge of the action as 20 engines and a helicopter were ordered to contain the fire from spreading further. Besides these, authorities also sent two single engine air tankers to attack the blaze and three heavy air tankers as reinforcements. Although the situation seems extremely unpleasant for the residents, the wildfire was categorized as a Type 3 (type 1 is the most severe). According to Eugene Swalberg from Utah State Parks, approximately 250 people had to be evacuated from the Steinaker State Park area, because the fire came incredibly close to the structures and maintenance buildings. Saturday night the wind changed directions and the fire started burning away from the park’s limits.
The great news is that nobody was hurt, and no structure has been damaged severely. However, officials have not given a declaration on the mater. The fire may not have been successfully contained on Saturday night, but six hand crews and 12 fire engines have been deployed to assist with the blaze. They were supposed to arrive on Sunday to help the teams already there. As of 9 p.m. they have still not achieved containment.
According to recent news one structure burned down, and others are threatened. Steinaker Reservoir will remain closed until the threat subsides, and the U.S. Highway 191 will also be closed indefinitely. As we already mentioned, officials have made no declaration, but according to Kelsey Birchell, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management, 20-foot flames were threatening park buildings, and one of the structures was completely destroyed. She could not say exactly what building it was.
The Bureau of Land Management is still trying to fight of the wildfire that began in Vernal yesterday afternoon. There are no more details at the moment, but we will update you as soon as we find out more about the situation. It seems, however, that the dangerous part has been avoided and it is only a matter of time until the entire fire will be extinguished.