SALT LAKE CITY — About 1,000 homes are being evacuated after high winds kicked up a fire near a northern Utah dump that at one point threated an explosives factory.
Fire officials were calling in additional aircraft and extra ground crews to fight the fast-moving Dump Fire near Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain, where evacuation orders went out for several of the towns’ neighborhoods.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed to assume 75 percent of the cost of fighting it, which should “loosen up resources,” U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz told a televised news conference. “I just want to make sure we’re blowing through all the red tape,” he said.
State officials and Chaffetz asked FEMA for assistance.
As of midnight, the fire had consumed more than 750 acres of federal range land. High winds kicked it up early Friday, and officials said it was moving so quickly they couldn’t estimate its current size.
At first, officials ordered 500 homes evacuated, but later doubled that figure.
“With fire behavior like this, we’re unable to take a direct attack” on it, Jason Curry, a spokesman for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, told KSL-TV.
The fire was accidentally started Thursday by target shooters, marking the 20th fire so far in Utah this year that’s been traced to shooting. High winds helped fan the flames onto tinder-dry grasslands.
No injuries or structural damage have been reported, but at one point the fire threatened an explosives company. But as winds kicked up, the fire began moving away toward Saratoga Springs, and crews began focusing on saving homes.
The fire moved as close as a half-mile to homes but has shifted away, BLM spokesman Cami Lee told reporters.
“Safety is No. 1. We’re making sure the residents immediately in danger are moved to a safe area,” Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love told reporters Friday.
Elsewhere, officials said they fully contained the GlenAnna Fire in Sevier County on Thursday night. The human-caused blaze started around noon Tuesday and burned more than 1,500 acres near Bull Claim Hill, east of Richfield.