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Northeastern Utah Fires Merge, Threaten Oil & Power Infrastructure

(Shelby Huffman)

MYTON, Utah – Crews responded to two fires, believed to be human-caused, in northeastern Utah, according to Mike Eriksson with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

By Monday evening, the East Myton and North River fires had merged and were threatening a total of 10 structures, along with oil and power infrastructure, fire officials said.

Eriksson said all evacuations had been lifted by 9 p.m. Monday, and the newly-named East Myton Complex fire had burned 2,200 acres. It was 10% contained.

Almost all resources from Uintah and Duchesne counties have been called out, along with Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs and other state resources.

Firefighters believe each blaze was started by humans, and their causes were under investigation.

Eriksson said fires in the Uintah Basin are fairly typical this time of year as vegetation is still dry and spring runoff hasn’t arrived.

 

“They’ve had a dry winter out there like most of the rest of the state, and so before things green up — which is right where we’re at — they’re still dry and you get a windy day like today … which is making containment hard,” Eriksson said.

Wind gusts of up to 40 mph were fueling the flames, which were burning sagebrush and grass in the area.

“Extreme fire behavior today due to the wind,” Eriksson said.

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