GROUSE CREEK, Box Elder County — Residents of Grouse Creek are being urged to evacuate after two wildfires merged and headed toward the town.
Grouse Creek is located in a rural area near the Nevada and Idaho borders.
About 6:30 p.m. Sunday, a woman who owns property in Grouse Creek posted to the Friends of Grouse Creek Facebook page that the town was being evacuated.
"The winds picked up again this afternoon flaring up the fire again. There are a lot of trucks, manpower and aircraft in the air again. I was just notified by the BLM that they are officially evacuating the town of Grouse Creek as a precaution, due to the winds and the fire heading this way. They are starting at the north end of town to notify everyone," according to Cathy Kimber's post.
BLM spokeswoman Dorothy Harvey said about 7:30 p.m. that residents were being strongly urged to evacuate.
Earlier in the day, Alan Smith, an administrator of the Friends of Grouse Creek Facebook page, posted "All structures are good except the 2 abandoned cabins by the reservoir. The fire stretches from Beatty Springs to the highway. Over 25 miles long. The north end of the fire has turned west again but they have a lot of equipment and planes on it."
The China Jim Fire that is threatening the town started Saturday about 13 miles southwest of Grouse Creek near the Utah-Nevada border. It has burned about 20,000 acres. The fire forced the closure of state Route 30 on Saturday night.
Also burning in that area is the Goose Creek Fire, believed to have been started by lightning on Thursday near Jackpot, Nevada. It has burned approximately 100,000 acres as of Sunday afternoon, according to the Bureau of Land Management.
On the BLM's fire information page, officials used phrases such as "extreme fire behavior" and described the fires as moving extremely fast.5 comments on this story
"The (China Jim Fire) will continue to rapidly move to the east and southeast threatening 2 ranches located along the Grouse Creek Valley Road. The fire is also going to hit State Hwy 30 east of Montello and road closures are being implemented at this time," the BLM wrote just after 8 p.m.
The BLM also forecast Sunday night that the Goose Creek Fire would continue to "spread to the south toward White Rock Peak and east toward Etna, (Utah)," threatening that community overnight.
Etna is just southwest of Grouse Creek.