Neola North Fire
The Neola North Fire was a major wildfire which occurred in the Ashley National Forest in northeastern Utah. It was blamed for three fatalities, the destruction of at least 12 homes, the burning of 43,511 acres (176 km2) of land, and led to the evacuation of about 500 local residents.
The fire broke out on Friday, June 29, 2007, at around 9:00 a.m. local time in Duchesne County, north of the unincorporated community of Neola. The source of the fire was Ute tribal land next to state route 121. It proceeded to spread eastward into Uintah County, and threatened the small communities of Whiterocks, Farm Creek, and Paradise.
One branch of the fire was prevented from spreading westwards before it reached Dry Creek Canyon and the town of Tridell. Another branch spread north into the Uintah mountains via Uintah Canyon, in land devoid of residential homes.
The cause of the wildfire is currently under investigation. An early report by public safety officials claimed, it was caused by a faulty power line or transformer. However, a later announcement by Moon Lake Electric Association CEO Grant Earl disputed this.
Witnesses later came forward to state they had seen the nebulous wildfire as they traveled along State Route 121. But having taken photos of the early fire and offered assistance to contain it they were refused access to the land by a Ute tribal member.
- Quick-Moving Utah Wildfire Kills 3 Men, Fox News, June 30, 2007
- Neola North wildfire contained at 50%, Associated Press, July 4, 2007[dead link]
- Interstates closed again for record setting Utah wildfire, SignOnSanDiego.com, July 9, 2007
- Killer Utah fire still raging, Deseret News, July 1, 2007
- Utah wildfire, spreading in national forest, might burn all summer, incident commander says, USA Today, July 4, 2007
- 3 dead in Utah wildfire, USA Today, June 30, 2007
- Dozens of Wildfires Ravage the West, Guardian Unlimited, July 10, 2007[dead link]
- White Rocks residents returning home. Did tribal member stop 2 from putting out blaze in early stages? Deseret News, July 2, 2007
- Funerals today for Neola fire victims; investigators probe cause of blaze, Deseret News, July 5, 2007