UPDATE:

Apr 24, 2023 / 08:55 PM MDT

UINTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — The Red Bridge Fire is now 90% contained, officials said.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Apr 24, 2023 / 06:59 PM MDT

UINTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — Local volunteer fire agencies have been fighting a brush fire that was reported on tribal land in Uintah County, Utah, since Sunday afternoon. The fire is currently burning on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, south of Fort Duchesne, and has consumed about 452 acres of land.

The cause of the fire has been determined to be human-oriented but is still under investigation. Officials have ruled out natural causes after they confirmed they were no lightning and thunderstorms occurring in the area at the time of the fire.

According to Christopher Secakuku, Bureau of Indian Affairs Forest Manager, the fire was active until about 11:30 p.m. the night it started, when it slowed down with the darkness. However, it continued to be active until approximately 3:30 a.m. the following morning, after which all signs of flames were out, but the heat was still present.

Unfortunately, the fire became active once again when the sun came up and breezy winds developed. It’s now pretty stationary, but there are still many interior pockets of cat tails, willows, and cottonwood trees burning. The lack of roads and wetlands in the area is limiting vehicle access to the fire line.

At present, there is no containment being reported, and crews are concerned about winds picking up with storms moving in.

To help with the fire, the Utah National Guard has sent two Black Hawk helicopters, which are currently doing bucket work by dropping water on hot spots in coordination with hand crews formed with fire personnel out on the fire line. Fire engine personnel have been put on foot where the engines can’t reach and are fighting the fire by hand.

“We’re making pretty good progress,” says Christopher Secakuku. “The helicopters are doing a wonderful job carrying water to the hot spots where we can’t get bodies right now.”