Wildfire Destroys Summer Residences

Wildfire Destroys Summer Residences

Save Story

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

HUNTSVILLE, Utah (AP) -- A fire started Monday, possibly by sparks from a backhoe, was believed to have destroyed at least two, and possibly as many as six or seven summer residences east of Huntsville near the Causey Reservoir.

The blaze, dubbed the Evergreen fire, started about 2 p.m. Monday on private land in the Evergreen development and had spread to 350 to 500 acres by early Tuesday, said Kathy Jo Pollock, Wasatch-Cache National Forest spokeswoman.

A voluntary evacuation was suggested for the Sourdough, Evergreen and Beaver Creek developments, which contain several hundred summer and year-round residences.

Pollock said that from the air it appeared six or seven residences -- cabins or trailers -- had been destroyed and a fire-engine crew reported another had been damaged.

The fire was about 20 percent contained, she said.

Some residents reported that the fire started when a backhoe struck a rock, causing sparks that ignited dry grass.

Pollock said Utah Power & Light cut power to the three areas so the fire burning underneath lines would not cause arcing.

About 90 firefighters, aided by five helicopters, two air tankers and five engines, were battling the fire, and Pollock said another four crews -- 80 firefighters -- were expected in the morning.

Three of the helicopters were diverted to the Evergreen fire from the Farmington Canyon fire, which to 1,935 acres on Monday, but was 70 percent contained.

Fire information officer Steve Segin said 297 personnel were assigned to that blaze.

The Farmington fire was started Thursday. A homeless man, Joseph Heinz Bruhl, 33, told law enforcement officers he started the fire because he wanted to go to jail. He was charged Friday with causing a catastrophe.

The Standard-Examiner in Ogden quoted a relative of Bruhl's, whom in did not name, as saying he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Bruhl, who attended Ogden High School, had been staying at John Taylor House, a nonprofit boarding home for men in Salt Lake City, for two weeks before the fire. He reportedly had been asked to leave because he refused to take his medications and became belligerent.

Elsewhere, the 126-acre Jacob Ranch west of Utah Lake was controlled Monday. The fire was believed caused by target shooting.

Firefighters also continued to battle the 18,606-acre Bulldog fire in the Henry Mountains in southern Utah, which was believed started by an all-terrain vehicle that had been driven off-road. A teenager was being investigated, said Susan Marzec, a Bureau of Land Management fire information officer.

In another development, the total cost of the Apex fire, the state's largest so far this season at 30,000 acres, has been estimated at $2.2 million so far. Rehabilitation costs could add another $1 million, said David Boyd, fire information officer. That fire, in southwestern Utah, was started by two teenagers playing with matches.

No decision has been made on charges, said Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast