Storm turns prescribed burn into active wildfire

Storm turns prescribed burn into active wildfire. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - For crews battling the Trail Mountain Fire in Central Utah, it started as a prescribed burn but a storm moved in with high winds and turned it into an active wildfire.

The fire started eight days ago in Emery County in the area between Manti and Castledale.

It’s now burned more than 6,000 acres, one structure a cabin has been lost and it is 10 percent contained as of Tuesday.

“We had a wind event come in, a storm come in and settled right over top the fire,” Brandon Jensen is a Forest Fire Prevention Officer. He’s been working the Trail Mountain Fire since it started as a prescribed burn near the Huntington Power Plant but has since turned to a wildfire, “Very rarely does this happen we lose very few of them,” he said.

Several structures are threatened in the area. “They are small recreational cabins high on trail mountain and folks just visit them for hunting or just recreation. So there’s no one living in them at the time,” said Rosann Fillmore with the Manti-Lasal National Forest. She said Firefighters are still working to save them, “They are important to them of course, and they don't want them burned, and they are concerned.”

More than 250 firefighters are fighting the fire from the ground and the air.

Many have asked why forest service was doing prescribed burns in the summer. “Up where we are burning, we are burning up high elevation, it’s basically spring up high,” Jensen said.

Jensen said they still abide by rules, “If it's a very hot dry day no we do not burn, that’s a big no no.”

Emery County Sheriff’s are asking people in the area to conserve water because of the fire.

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