Fire burns 3,500 acres north of Vernal, forces evacuations

Published: Saturday, July 5 2014 11:47 p.m. MDT

Updated: Saturday, July 5 2014 11:47 p.m. MDT

A wildfire about 10 miles north of Vernal has destroyed at least one structure and was threatening others Saturday, July 5, 2015, resulting in evacuations in the area, fire officials said.

Rustin Harrison

VERNAL — A wildfire about 10 miles north of Vernal has destroyed at least one structure and was threatening others Saturday, resulting in evacuations in the area, fire officials said.

Evacuations were in place for Taylor Mountain Road and Steinaker Reservoir. U.S. 191 was also temporarily closed.

"We're evacuating all areas north and east of the fire, as well as Steinaker," said Kelsey Birchell, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management.

The Taylor Mountain Road Fire had burned about 3,500 acres Saturday, Birchell said. The fire is zero percent contained and the cause is unknown, she said.

Birchell said structures were threatened Saturday, but she did not know how many.

"Honestly, the fire's covered such a vast distance that … we do have some structures lost," she said. "At least one, but we don't know what it is at this time."

Birchell said the fire is burning grass, brush and pinyon juniper trees. She said there are homes, outbuildings and campers in the area of the fire.

There are about 20 engines, three heavy tankers, two single-engine air tankers and a helicopter on the scene. Birchell said the BLM and volunteer districts are assisting with the fire.

Birchell said six more hand crews were ordered and en route Saturday evening.

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