LOCAL NEWS

Human-caused wildfire erupts near US Highway 40 in Wasatch County

May 22, 2022, 5:46 PM | Updated: May 23, 2022, 5:21 am

WASATCH COUNTY, Utah — Fire crews battled a fast-growing, human-caused blaze that erupted along U.S. Highway 40 in Wasatch County Sunday.

Drivers heading up and down U.S. 40 north of Heber City all evening encountered smoke and passed by dozens of firefighters embedded in the hillside.

“At the time, we were only calling it 4 acres. We went to 15, to 50, now we’re calling it 85 acres,” explained Mike Eriksson, area manager for the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands.

A heavy air tanker flew ahead, and deputies stopped traffic on U.S. 40 briefly to allow for the tanker to make retardant drops.

Eriksson pointed out that it’s early in the season for the area to be seeing a wildfire requiring these types of resources.

“Wasatch County usually doesn’t see fires like this until July and August,” he said. “Quite honestly, I can only think of a couple of times where we’ve had a fire get over two or three acres in May.”

Eriksson explained that they don’t think Mother Nature is responsible for the Flatline Fire.

They believe it’s human-caused but don’t know how it was started just yet. Investigators will take a few days to pinpoint the ignition source.

They do know flames erupted far off the highway, meaning a driver didn’t start it.

“There are a few trails. I mean, this fire, the Flatline Fire, is named after that trail on Wasatch Mountain State Park right there,” Eriksson said.

While the fire was hard to miss from the highway, Eriksson explained it burned in rugged terrain, and the flames proved hard to fight.

“You look at this and go, ‘Where it is, we should be able to get to that really easy,’” Eriksson said. “But as soon as you get off that highway, it’s oak brush everywhere.”

Dozens of firefighters and the heavy air tanker make their attacks, determined to slow it down before nightfall.

Eriksson expected more resources to arrive Monday.

He said there’s a potential for a really bad fire season this year and warned of the importance of being careful and cognizant.

“As we’re shooting, camping, having campfires, and all those things that we do, recreation, fun — everybody loves to do that,” he said. “But if we can be a little bit more careful, that will help us all out.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Women hold signs and chant slogans during a protest over the death of Iranian Mahsa Amini outside t...
Ashley Moser

Sandy woman can’t get in touch with family in Iran after country blocks internet

Eida, an Iranian-American from Utah, said watching what is happening to her family thousands of miles away in Iran is difficult, especially because she cannot reach them. 
1 day ago
(Andrew Adams/KSL TV)...
Andrew Adams

Fall leaves in full glory in mountains above Bountiful, Davis County

This weekend is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the beautiful fall colors. KSL's Andrew Adams went down a less-traveled road in Davis County Friday for a closer look.
1 day ago
(Ray Boone/KSL TV)...
Alex Cabrero

Lost luggage at Salt Lake City Int’l Airport packed full of illegal prescription drugs

A lost piece of luggage stuffed full of pills has Cottonwood Heights police investigating.
1 day ago
Jeremy Hauck appears in a Farmington court, Dec. 13, 2007. Hauck was found not guilty by reason of ...
Kaitlyn Bancroft, KSL.com and Shara Park, KSL TV

Utah man who shot mother, slit her throat in 2006 seeks release from state hospital

A judge will spend several weeks considering whether a Utah State Hospital patient who killed his mother in 2006 will be released. The court heard almost seven hours of testimony on Friday from doctors, social workers and others.
1 day ago
Rain moves across Salt Lake City on Sept. 21. Salt Lake City entered Friday, the last day of the wa...
Carter Williams, KSL.com

As the 2022 water year comes to a close, how did Utah fare?

Laura Haskell with the Utah Division of Water Resources finds it difficult to describe the 2022 water year because it has been all over the place.
1 day ago
...
Ayanna Likens

Utah sees rise in auto-pedestrian crashes

An alarming concern on Utah roads — a rise in auto-pedestrian crashes, including three that happened within the last 24 hours.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
Human-caused wildfire erupts near US Highway 40 in Wasatch County