Human-caused fire burning on 20 acres near Vernal; blaze 30% contained

VERNAL, Utah – Residents who evacuated due to a wildfire near Vernal Friday are back in their homes, and fire officials have reached 30% containment on the blaze.

Kelsey Birchell, a fire mitigation education specialist for the Bureau of Land Management, said the Dry Creek Settlement Fire is believed to be human caused, though the exact cause is still under investigation.

The fire began around 2 p.m. Friday.

The fire has burned about 20 acres as of Friday night and is 30 percent contained.

Residents on Dry Creek Settlement Road and Red Cloud Loop were evacuated earlier in the day but are back in their homes Friday night.

“I grabbed my son and got in the truck and we took off,” Michael Wiley said of their evacuation. “… We came through here and the flames were pretty big, and it was pretty scary."

Birchell said dry conditions create high fire danger, and this is the second human caused fire in the area in recent days. She said fire resources already in place for that other blaze, the Pine Ridge Fire, were able to quickly move to the Dry Creek Settlement Fire Friday since they were nearby.