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1 home damaged after fires in Uintah, Duchesne counties merge, authorities say

1 home damaged after fires in Uintah, Duchesne counties merge, authorities say

(Photo courtesy of Amber Taylor)



MYTON — One home was damaged after two fires broke out Monday in northeastern Utah, Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands officials confirmed.

Officials said that by 6:15 p.m. Monday, the two fires, which are both believed to be human-caused, merged and threatened 10 structures, as well as oil and power infrastructure. The merged fires are now being called the East Myton Complex Fire. Officials report the fire is at 2,200 acres with 10% containment and that evacuations were lifted around 8:30 p.m. Monday.

By Tuesday morning, there was no change in containment or size of the fire complex, which is burning on Ute tribal lands and privately owned land about a mile east of Myton, according to fire officials.

One home had minor damage from the blaze, officials said.

A total of 90 firefighters, including 23 engines and four tenders, are working to contain the fire complex Tuesday, officials said. Fire personnel from the Ute Tribe, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Duchesne County, Uintah County and the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands have responded to the area.

The fire that originally started in Duchesne County was 200 acres and threatened structures, according to Mike Eriksson with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. And the previously named North River Fire, which started in Uintah County, began on private land before it spread to tribal land. It was originally estimated on Monday afternoon at 50 to 60 acres, Eriksson said.

Almost all of Uintah and Duchesne County crews were called out for the fires that merged, as well as the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs and other state resources.

"Extreme fire behavior today due to the wind," Eriksson said.

Eriksson pointed to the dry winter making vegetation dry paired with strong winds making containment of the fires hard. A wind advisory had gone into effect throughout the state with the Western Uintah Basin experiencing gusts up to 50 mph.

Firefighters said they believe both the fires were human-caused and that the cause is currently under investigation.

Contributing: Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com

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