WEBER COUNTY, Utah, Sept. 7, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — The Uintah Fire has burned 619 acres on private and state land and is now 70 percent contained, officials said Thursday.
The fire is burning in oak brush, sagebrush, and grasses, on the Uintah “U” mountainside, Uintah Highlands area east of Combe Road and Woodland Drive, and along U.S. 84, according to a news release from the Utah Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.
Wednesday afternoon, fire officials deemed it safe to open more roads within the evacuation area. The following areas still remain closed: from Combe Road access to 6500 South, Combe Road access to 6425 South, and 6500 South (Bybee Road) to Wallace Street.
“Last night, winds were light and there was no increase in fire spread overnight,” the news release said. “However, engine crews responded to a flare up at a home where a railroad tie used for landscaping was burning under the deck. Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames quickly before the fire spread. This was in the evacuation area.”
Thursday, fire crews will continue to work within the Uintah Highlands neighborhood, U mountain area, and along U.S 84.
“The fire is smoldering around the ground with occasional flare ups,” the news release goes on. “Crews will be focused on putting out hot spots within the existing fire perimeter. Objectives are to minimize fire spread, provide for firefighter and public safety, and prevent additional loss of assets.”
The Weber State University’s Dee Events Center, 4450 Harrison Blvd., is open for evacuees to get fire updates and assistance. Those needing to get back into the evacuated area for vital items, such as medications and pets, should go to the Dee Events Center to request an escort.
Resources currently assigned are 32 engines, one hot shot crew, two helicopters, and 170 personnel.
The fire began Tuesday morning and at least six structures have burned, including four fixed residences, a manufactured home and a garage, said spokesman Doug Bitton, of the Layton Fire Department.
The cause of the fire is not yet known, but some witnesses reported seeing electrical arching near the Uintah “U” on the mountainside prior to the wildfire, Bitton said.
Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information becomes available.