Wildfire damages three homes north of Vernal

Published: Sunday, July 6 2014 11:50 a.m. MDT

Updated: Sunday, July 6 2014 8:19 p.m. MDT

Fire crews extinguish hot spots from a 3,569-acre fire in the Taylor Mountain and Ashley National Forest area near Vernal on Sunday, July 6, 2014. Evacuation orders are still in place for the occupants of homes in the area.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

VERNAL — A wildfire about 10 miles north of Vernal has now severely damaged three homes or cabins, Bureau of Land Management officials said Sunday.

The Taylor Mountain Road Fire is about 5 percent contained and has burned an estimated 3,569 acres, BLM spokeswoman Kelsey Birchell said.

Evacuation orders were lifted for homes along Taylor Mountain Road and Steinaker State Park on Sunday afternoon.

Jerry Snow, a resident who was evacuated Saturday, said some homeowners in his area were allowed to temporarily return to their homes for belongings. But Snow said he was told the evacuation order could remain in place for several days.

"If we can’t get back in (Monday), we’ll probably look for an RV park or something," he said.

Snow said flames reached a parking area on his property, but he believes the fire has mostly bypassed his home. He and his wife saw the flames approaching and had already begun loading items into a trailer when fire officials arrived.

"You could’ve thrown a stone from my porch to the flames when I left, but the fire department was already there by that time," Snow said.

U.S. 191 is open, but travel restrictions are in place, prohibiting people from stopping along the road to watch or photograph the blaze. The fire is burning grass, brush and pinyon-juniper trees.

Additional firefighting crews were sent to Uintah County to help with the blaze. Birchell said Saturday's efforts were focused on initial attack and structure protection. Crews Sunday worked to build fire lines to help contain the blaze.

Contributing: Dennis Romboy

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com, Twitter: bjaminwood

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