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Silver King Fire scorches nearly 15,000 acres, no containment

Posted at 11:22 AM, Jul 07, 2024

MARYSVALE, Utah — The lightning-caused Silver King Fire has grown to about 14,851 acres burned with zero percent containment as of the latest update Thursday morning.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, the fire exhibited "extreme fire behavior," early on, with firefighters and aircraft attacking the flames from the east and south and multiple air tankers, helicopters, and other heavy equipment being deployed.

Approximately 500 firefighters from various agencies are battling the fire to keep it from spreading towards nearby Marysvale. Because the fire is burning in extremely steep territory, it has been difficult for crews to get equipment in place to fight the blaze.

Though wind has been backing off a bit, officials said in the latest update that temperatures in the high 90s and triple digits, paired with relative humidities around 8-13 percent mean weather conditions continue to be a challenge in firefighting efforts.

As a result of firefighting efforts, Fishlake National Forest issued a closure order until further notice.

FULL video below shows fire and thick smoke from Marysvale as firefighting efforts continue around the clock

FULL VIDEO vo

Voluntary evacuations were put in place for residents of Bullion Canyon, according to the Piute County Sheriff's Office. As of Sunday afternoon, about 15 people had evacuated.

Gov. Spencer Cox and Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson visited Marysvale to survey the fire Sunday.

"It's in very steep territory so it's really hard to get assets up there to try to protect the structures that are being threatened," Cox said. "We've got bulldozers out there right now, again, we've got the air assets coming in trying to build a fire line to stop that from progressing towards the town."

Cox added that the next two weeks will be "brutal" for fire conditions in Utah as the weather and hot temperatures are forecast.

The Federal Government has approved Utah's request for money to help pay for costs associated with the Silver King Fire. the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says the fire threatens to cause what would be a "major disaster."

FEMA is offering to pay up to 75% of firefighting costs.

Video below shows helicopter and plane flying into the smoke with water and fire retardant (Gary Hopkins)

Firefighting efforts silver king fire

Before Sunday, the fire had burned 5,400 acres in the area. Officials said the fire "significantly increased," nearly doubling in size, due to extreme weather conditions.

A red flag warning remains in place for the area, with officials citing high temperatures, low humidity, and 30 mile-per-hour winds out of the north west.

Power was turned off for 20 homes located in the upper part of the Bullion Canyon in order to reduce risks as firefighting efforts continue.

One affected resident, Sioux Coghlan Burtan, who has lived in his home for 17 years, was one of those who voluntarily evacuated.

"I noticed the problem last night with the smoke, the smoke was very intense," she said. "The smoke was very intense and, I kept checking, kept checking and then the sheriff came by and said, we're on standby orders to evacuate."

Video below shows thick, dark smoke billowing into the sky

firefighting efforts silver creek video 2

By Sunday morning, Burtan then received the order to voluntarily evacuate.

"Hopefully our houses are still standing in a few days, you know, ride it out and see," she said.

Piute County Sheriff's Office Sheriff Mary Gleave confirmed that all the households were notified of the order Sunday morning.

"My deputies went to the residents and asked for voluntary evacuation and at that time the people decided that they would leave," said Gleave.

Fish Lake National Forest Deputy Fire Staff Officer Todd Murray attended the meeting as well, notifying residents of the possible cause.

Video below shows heavy smoke obscuring the sun as crews work nonstop to control the fire (Ashlee Williams)

Courtesy Ashlee Williams

"Our fire investigation into that cause by our local law enforcement officer determined this to be a lightning cause fire, and so that lightning occurred a few days ago," said Murray. "We're not directly on the fire's edge or where the fire is actively burning because again, fire behavior, fire intensity, so we back off away at a safe distance."

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