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Moist weather helping crews hem in eastern Utah wildfire

First Published      Last Updated Jul 11 2014 06:02 pm

Monsoonal moisture over eastern Utah's Uinta Basin Friday gave crews a big lift, accelerating their plans for 100 percent containment of the Taylor Mountain Road Wildfire.

"We've had a lot of favorable weather overnight and today," said fire information officer Kelsey Birchell, noting that high humidity, rain and cooler temperatures all helped about 50 firefighters in their efforts to hem in the 3,126-acre blaze.

"We got it 90 percent contained last night. We expect to have this 100 percent contained by 6 p.m. [Friday]" she added.

At its height, the blaze 10 miles north of Vernal was battled by 250 firefighters, along with helicopter and air-tanker support.

The fire, of still undetermined cause, began on July 5. In its first couple days, flames destroyed two summer homes and a permanent residence as it raced through tinder-dry grass, brush and trees.

Meanwhile, Bureau of Land Management firefighters had dug containment lines around roughly a 35 percent of the 404-acre, lightning-sparked Middle Bench Fire, which was burning across the Utah-Arizona border, about 70 miles southwest of St. George.

Fire information officer Rachel Tueller said no injuries had been reported and no structures lost to the fire, which was burning in the remote site in the Grand Wash Cliffs Wilderness.


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