Aerial photo of Shelter Pass Fire

BLM West Desert District Wildfire Update

News Release
West Desert District Office, Utah

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                Media Contact:  Hannah Cowan
(801) 977-4315

August 7, 2019

BLM West Desert District Wildfire Update

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Following last weekend’s lightning event, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) West Desert District, in partnership with state and federal agencies, responded to over 50 lightning-caused fire starts. Currently, the BLM is working nine large wildfires that total over 19,000 acres on BLM-managed lands, State lands, and private lands, with the goal of full suppression while providing for firefighter and public safety.

Fire engines, crews, and air tankers are being shared around northern Utah to best manage these fires across jurisdictional boundaries. The incidents include:

  • Shelter Pass: 6,401 acres in Box Elder County | Type 3 Incident Command | 6 engines, 2 water tenders, 2 dozers, 6 handcrews, aircraft
  • Paint Mine: 2,665 acres in Juab County | 50% contained | Type 3 Incident Management Team | 1 helicopter, 4 hand crews, 4 engines, 1 dozer | PIO on-scene is Kayli Yardley, 435-864-8676
  • West Dog Fire: 46.5 acres in Millard County | 100% contained on August 6
  • River Breaks: 341 acres in Juab County | 100% contained on August 6
  • Twin Peaks: 105 acres in Millard County | 100% contained on August 5 | Control expected today or tomorrow
  • Meadow Creek: 20 acres in Box Elder County | 65% contained
  • Prospect Springs: 500 acres in Box Elder County | Primarily private land | 10% containment | 6 engines, 1 dozer, 1 hotshot crew
  • Russell: 5,950 acres in Box Elder County | 70% contained
  • Curlew:4,332 acres in Box Elder County | 70% contained | 2 engines

While it has been a slow start to fire season, the long winter and spring rains have led to a larger fuel loading, which has cured, creating available fine fuels that burn hot and fast. The National Weather Service (NWS) predicts lightning through Thursday night, with the potential to start additional wildfires. In addition, the expected wind and low relative humidity through the weekend could create critical fire weather conditions. 

The public is reminded to use caution and be prepared to prevent wildfires when visiting public lands. The BLM recommends keeping water, a shovel, and a fire extinguisher handy during the dry summer months. In addition, the BLM reminds the public that a year-round fire prevention order is in effect, which includes fireworks, exploding targets, tracer and incendiary (tracer) ammunition, sky lanterns or similar devices, and operating off-highway vehicles without spark arresters. From June 15 through September 30, the use of steel-core, steel-jacketed, or steel-tipped ammunition are prohibited.

For fire activity, fire news, and fire prevention orders, visit

In partnership with the State of Utah and U.S. Forest Service, the BLM encourages the public to take the “Spark Change” pledge and help Utah reduce or eliminate wildfires:

For more information, contact Fire Education and Mitigation Specialist Jhen Williams at 801-977-4300. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (DD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1- 800-877-8339 to leave a message or question. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017. These activities supported more than 468,000 jobs.

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