December 13, 2019

Washington, DC— Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), Deputy Republican Leader of the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee, released the following after his bill, H.R. 722, designating a mountain in the State of Utah as “Miracle Mountain” passed the House Natural Resources Committee unanimously last week.

“Although last year’s fire season was one of our worst, it brought out the best of Utah and our communities. I am pleased to have Elk Ridge City Mayor, Ty Ellis, with us here this morning. Recognizing that he had witnessed a miracle, shortly after the fire was contained, Mayor Ellis reached out to me to see if we could have the peak named ‘Miracle Mountain.’ I am grateful to Mayor Ellis, as well as all of the courageous federal, state, and local firefighters that worked tirelessly to battle the blaze. Naming the peak ‘Miracle Mountain’ is a fitting gesture of gratitude.” 

Statement of Support

Elk Ridge City Mayor Ty Ellis joined the hearing as a witness. His prepared remarks are available: [HERE].

“As Mayor of Elk Ridge, I testify that the Bald Mountain fire had the potential to devastate our little city and to disrupt the lives of our residents far beyond the inconvenience of being evacuated. Many residents have adopted the name “Miracle Mountain” simply due to the unexplainable events that occurred during this time of uncertainty. I appreciate our Honorable Congressman John Curtis for his dedication to and sponsorship of this bill.”

Chief Victoria Christiansen of the United States Department of Agriculture—Forest Service also was a witness. Her full testimony is available: [HERE].

Background

In early September 2018, the Pole Creek and Bald Mountain Fires burned roughly 20,000 acres in Utah. Elk Ridge City and Woodland Hills, located in Utah County, were nearly victims of this fire. Miraculously, due to a change in wind direction, on September 13 the fire suddenly halted, stayed behind a mountain peak, and spared the community. Since the fire, the unnamed peak has been referred to as ‘Miracle Mountain’ by many constituents.

In November 2018, Mayor Ellis wrote an op-ed in the Daily Herald about the experience and detailed his request for Rep. Curtis to propose the legislation.

“We are extremely grateful that Congressman Curtis, who was with us during the dark hours of the fire and during the aftermath, was so willing to quickly take up this cause. We express our sincere gratitude to the rest of Utah’s House congressional delegation, Representatives Bishop, Stewart, and Love, for all joining Curtis in introducing the bill to name “Miracle Mountain.” We also appreciate Gov. Herbert’s support of the formal designation as well.

It is our hope that with this official naming of “Miracle Mountain,” it will become a permanent memorial, not only for the residents of Elk Ridge and Woodland Hills who were spared from disaster but also for all Utahns as a tribute to our wildland firefighters and as a powerful reminder that miracles do happen. It is our hope that Congress will pass Congressman Curtis’ bill and send it to the president for enactment.”

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