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Winds causing problems for crews knocking back Green Ravine Fire

(Credit: Paul Nelson)

TOOELE COUNTY – The largest active fire in Utah continues to spread thanks to dry conditions and winds.  By seven p.m., the Green Ravine Fire has burned more than 17 hundred acres, and was only 10 percent contained even though crews have placed retardant around almost all of the fire.

People living on Iron Horse Road could actually see the winds change the course of the Green Ravine Fire.

One woman says, “Suddenly, the wind shifted and the flames decided to come down right near the tracks,” adding, “The craziest things were the grasshoppers.  When the smoke started coming, the grasshoppers started flying.”

She says her neighbors jumped into action when the flames got too close for comfort.

“When the flames jumped the tracks, we’ve got a whole bunch of dry grass out here.  So, the neighbors were awesome and they started working together and cutting down the weeds to get control of it,” she says.

This is an area where fire crews see “starts” all the time.  However, Jason Curry with Utah Forestry, Fire and State Lands says the weather made this particular fire tricky to deal with.

“The erratic winds yesterday, and the hot dry weather and the heavy fuel load was able to help it grow pretty quickly,” Curry says.

Helicopters dropped water buckets and retardant around the flames.  Curry says one of their biggest concerns was protecting communication and broadcasting towers on Farnsworth Peak.  Even with several fires burning across the state, Curry says their resources aren’t stretched out too thin, yet.

“We’ve still got plenty of capacity to deal with fires right now.  We just assembled a Type 3 team and we’ve got our normal Northern Utah Type 3 team managing the [Snoqualmie] fire near Layton,” he says.