A fire reported Wednesday about 3 p.m. has burned 200 acres of pine forest, threatened cabins and caused off-and-on closures of a highway to Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
Smoke and burned trees falling on U-191 20 miles north of Vernal would likely cause additional traffic problems, Merle Young, a Forest Service fire-information officer said Thursday.Some 40 firefighters aided by bulldozers and fire engines were called to the blaze Wednesday, with a crew of 20 more personnel and air tankers scheduled to help in the battle beginning Thursday. Young said even more firefighters are needed but are hard to find because numerous other fires are taking a toll on the availability of fire crews.
The fire was burning about a mile southeast of some summer homes Wednesday, before it turned and started moving south and east and crossed the highway. "We don't have a concern about the homes because it's moving away from them," Young said.
The fire is burning on national forest land in the Vernal Ranger District in beetle-killed lodgepole pine, green lodgepole pines and downed timber, Young said. "There are some areas that have pockets of heavy fuel." Firefighters' main concern Thursday morning was spot fires jumping away from the main body of fire. "People are being warned to be careful traveling that way because some of the burned trees are falling on the road.