Fire north of Vernal has burned more than 4,000 acres

Local News

VERNAL (News4Utah) -The Bender Mountain Fire, burning in a remote part of northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado, produced a column of smoke Monday that was visible for a substantial distance and officials said it alarmed some residents. 

This smoke column was caused, in part, by planned firing operations carried out by firefighters. There are also unburned pockets of timber and other fuels inside the fire perimeter that have ignited, producing more smoke.

The fire will likely produce additional smoke until the area receives significant rainfall or even snow. Officials say this is normal and is not cause for concern.

The fire is now 75 percent contained and 4,112 acres in size, which represents minimal growth in acreage over the past week.

There are two firefighting crews, three engines and an air attack plane assigned to the fire, for a total of more than 50 personnel.

The Bender Mountain Fire was first reported on Sept. 2 about 17 miles northeast of Dutch John, Utah, near the Three Corners area where Utah, Wyoming and Colorado border each other. It is being investigated as a human-caused fire; however, arson is not suspected.

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