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Two wildfires burning in the northwest corner of Utah merge, creating one that’s over 100,000 acres

Posted at 9:45 PM, Jul 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-29 23:45:34-04

BOX ELDER COUNTY – Two fires burning since Saturday on the Utah-Nevada border have merged.

The Goose Creek fire grew to 100,000 acres after it met with the China Jim fire. It is only 15 percent contained.

Firefighters say the fire is being fueled by brush and timber in the area. They believe lightning strikes started the blaze.

Currently, there are no mandatory evacuations but the small town of Grouse Creek, Utah is on standby.

“It’s a very small community," Fire Information Officer Dorothy Harvey said. "There are a lot of ranches out there but precautions are being taken."

Crews are having a difficult time fighting this fire because resources across the west are being stretched to the max.

“The ones in California with all the homes and the ones in Oregon, those get priority because of the homes, because of the people involved,” Harvey said.

Local teams are doing most of the work on the ground. Smoke is creating a challenge for aerial crews.

“What smoke does is it makes it hard for the planes to fly," Harvey said. "So, without the retardant drops to help out, it makes it more difficult."

Currently, there is no estimate as to when this fire will be fully contained.