Governor Authorizes National Guard to Combat Northern Utah Fires

SALT LAKE CITY – In response to an emergency request for assistance from the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert has authorized deployment of Utah National Guard resources as part of the air assault to combat the State and Millville fires. The State Fire is near the town of Portage in Box Elder County, close to the Utah-Idaho border, and the Millville Fire is in Cache County, just south of Logan.

Due to new fires in other parts of the state, air resources are scarce and the assistance of National Guard Blackhawk helicopters is warranted to tackle flames in a steep canyon west of Portage and in Millville, according to State Forestry officials. According to current reports, six ground crews are on scene at the State Fire and five more are en route. The erratic fire keeps jumping fire lines and making significant runs due to high winds.

The National Guard has initiated mobilization efforts, in coordination with the Division of Emergency Management and Utah Department of Public Safety. Two Blackhawk helicopters are expected to deploy any minute.

Updates on timing and resources will be provided by the National Guard; the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands (Dept. of Natural Resources); and the Division of Emergency Management (Dept. of Public Safety).