Camp Williams field fire spreads to Herriman homes
1,400 homes evacuated; more than 200 police and firefighters assist
Several homes were burning late Sunday and a quick-moving fire threatened at least 100 more as 200-plus firefighters and police officers tried to control a chaotic scene in southwest Salt Lake County.
The mayor of Herriman declared a state of emergency as officials enforced a mandatory evacuation of 1,400 homes by midnight.
Unified Police Lt. Don Hutson confirmed that "several" homes were burning in Herriman. "If they're not complete losses, they've suffered significant damage," he said.
All homes south of 14000 South and west of 5575 West were evacuated, although police confirmed that some residents refused to leave their homes.
All inbound traffic to Herriman was shut down. Police officers early Monday were mostly dealing with frustrated homeowners who wanted to go back to their homes, but were not allowed to return, said Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder.
Three Unified police officers suffered minor injuries Sunday night. Two were treated for smoke inhalation and a third officer suffered minor injuries when he was hit by a vehicle whose driver wanted to return to his home.
The fire began about 3:30 p.m. on Camp Williams property during an artillery training exercise involving machine gun fire. Homes in the Cove Subdivision and Herriman Heights neighborhoods were threatened by the wind-fueled that burned out of control in the Rose Canyon area of Herriman.
Between 6:30 and 7 p.m., the fire crested and started heading down the hill toward homes. Downtown Herriman was packed with people late Sunday watching the blaze that could be seen throughout Salt Lake County. Smoke was seen throughout much of northern Utah.
Red eyes were a common sight as a combination of dust and ashes fell from the sky.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert arrived at the scene to assess the situation. He called out 124 members of the Utah National Guard to assist firefighters from throughout the county already fighting the blaze. Firefighters reported 15- to 20-foot walls of flame moving extremely fast to the northeast.
"Everyone is sending everyone they can," Unified Fire Authority Chief Michael Jensen said late Sunday. Firefighters were outside Salt Lake County were being called in to replace exhausted crews.
Herbert said the fire had been contained at one point, but then the winds kicked up.
"We thought we had it suppressed," Herbert said. "It's these horrific winds that are causing the problem."
"Everything that can be done is being done," he said, calling it a "very serious situation."
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Thread: Herimann Utah Fire burns Houses
09-20-2010, 12:41 PM #1
Herimann Utah Fire burns HousesFront line since 1983 and still going strong
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