A local nonprofit organization — Moab Solutions — is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual, or individuals, responsible for starting the blaze.
Moab Solutions founder Sara Melnicoff said she discovered the charred area at about 6:30 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, July 15.
“I smelled and then saw a very large burn area right off the parking lot,” she said. “... I called the fire in to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office so it would be officially reported,” Melnicoff said. “A deputy came out but we later found out that it had been called in just past midnight by [another] deputy doing a routine check [of the area].”
The fire scar is one of several that have been discovered during summer months in Mill Creek Canyon during the past decade or more. In July 2013, more than a dozen small burned areas were found in the canyon and fire officials confirmed they were intentionally set. Moab Solutions also offered a reward that year, and Melnicoff said the fires seemed to stop for several summers.
BLM officials are encouraging the public to come forward with any information.
“The fire at Mill Creek is currently under investigation,” said Moab Field Office Manager Christina Price. “The BLM appreciates anyone willing to come forward with information that would be helpful in the investigation. Mill Creek is a special place to our community and we encourage everyone to be good land stewards.”
Melnicoff said she and other volunteers plan to revegetate the area with native plant seeds in the next couple of weeks. Those who would like to volunteer to help can sign up on an email list at: www.millcreekpartnership.net.
Anyone with information about the July 14 fire is asked to contact the Grand County Sheriff’s Office at 435-259-8115.