WILDFIRES

Roadside Fires In Box Elder County Being Investigated As Possible Arson

Jul 10, 2019, 7:01 PM | Updated: 7:46 pm

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Seven small fires in just three days, along a small stretch of highway has investigators looking into whether all or some of the fires could have been intentionally set.

Box Elder County Fire Marshal Corey Barton said the fires started between Brigham City and Mantua, near mile-markers 3 and 5 along Highway 89/91, from July 3 to 5.

“They are all under investigation at this time,” Barton said. “We’re trying to determine an exact cause, and see if we can’t find anybody responsible for them.”

One of the fires started just below four homes along the hillside. Steven Call, who lives in one of the homes, said he’s grateful firefighters responded quickly.

“It’s hard to even see a burn mark, so they got it out fast,” Call said. “I was on my way down to the temple, and I saw the fire trucks down there.”

Hearing that all or some of the fires might have been intentionally set, however, was concerning to Call.

“That’s scary to me,” Call said. “Who would want to do that? Who would want to go down and start fires?”

Barton said fire crews were able to make that quick response, below those homes, thanks to an off-duty firefighter who happened to be nearby.

“He saw it and called it in,” Barton said. “We were able to get crews from Brigham City and Box Elder County there, and state of Utah immediately, so we were able to catch it before it went up the hillside.”

With the heat rising, and the natural fuels drying out, Barton says the fires could have caused some major damage.

“The moisture is a blessing and curse, because it grows all that fuel for us, and that fuel is now drying out,” Barton said. “We’re in for a wild ride through August and September I’m afraid.”

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Roadside Fires In Box Elder County Being Investigated As Possible Arson