Firefighters Suspect Arson In Tervels Fire Near Echo Reservoir
SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah – Firefighters said Monday they suspected arson in a wildfire that sparked just off of I-80 near Echo Reservoir.
The Tervels Fire started about 2 p.m. and quickly spread to 350 acres by Monday night with zero percent containment, according to fire information officer Leann Fox.
“It’s hot today, the fuels are dry,” Fox said. “It kind of creates its own weather pattern through these canyons — the wind does push this fire.”
Fox did not elaborate on why investigators believed the fire was arson.
The flames led road crews to shut down an eastbound lane of I-80 as they battled the blaze.
“This is a pretty light fuel type,” Fox said. “It burns quickly, but crews are able to get in on the ground and do a lot of hand work.”
Firefighters also used helicopters and air tankers to attack the fire from the air.
Some people looked on anxiously from an interstate rest area, including Ed and Cathy Friery.
“That’s rising up and moving, and the wind’s pushing it,” Ed Friery said, pointing to the large smoke plume rising over the hillside that towers over Echo Reservoir.
Earlier in the afternoon, firefighters placed the Echo Creek Ranches area under a pre-evacuation order.
“That’s what’s going to save our bacon is if the wind stays the way it is,” said Friery, who lives in the nearby Chalk Creek area.
Fox said anyone with information about the start of the fire is asked to call the Summit County Sheriff’s Office at 435-615-3600.
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