Fire crews in eastern Summit County responds to multiple blazes
A car that caught fire on Interstate 80 shut down the eastbound travel lanes near Wanship on Friday, according to the North Summit Fire District.
The interstate was closed near mile marker 155 while firefighters controlled the fire. Tyler Rowser, North Summit Fire District’s public information officer, said the fire was contained to the vehicle and did not threaten nearby wildland. The cause of the fire was unknown.
“It was actually a perfect circumstance,” he said. “Right where they pulled off there was a big dirt lot so it didn’t spread.”
The North Summit Fire District responded to several other fire calls Friday evening and over the weekend.
-A small fire was reported near the railroad tracks in Echo Canyon, but that was quickly contained.
-Crews assisted Morgan County with a brush fire near Croydon, east of Interstate 84. The fire grew to about 10 acres before it was extinguished by crews in the surrounding area, including North Summit Fire District and the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.
-Another vehicle fire was reported Sunday morning in the Kamas Valley, Rowser said. A group who had been camping in the area placed a fire pit in the back of their vehicle as a way to adhere to the fire restrictions in the area.
“That was an odd one,” he said. “They thought they had fully extinguished it when they drove away from their campsite, but some wind must have gotten to it and reignited it. It didn’t do any significant damage to the vehicle because it was mostly contained to the fire pit.”
-According to Rowser, a brush fire between Interstate 84 and East Henefer Road in North Summit County triggered a response from crews at around 6 p.m. Friday. East Henefer Road was temporarily closed while firefighters worked to control the blaze.
The fire burned nearly 2 acres and took crews about three hours to contain. Park City Fire District, Morgan County Fire Department and the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands assisted with the call. No homes or structures were threatened. However, Rowser said if the winds had shifted to the east, it would have prompted evacuations of homes along Henefer Road. The cause of the fire is unknown.
“It straddled both sides of the railroad and the location was somewhat difficult to get to,” he said. “We had very strong winds blowing the fire to the northwest so we were also having to deal with that. But, thankfully Mother Nature worked with us to keep it away from the homes.”
While multiple fires are raging across much of the state, Rowser said fires like the weekend blazes are fairly common this time of year.
“We are actually having a normal summer for us,” he said. “Last year was really slow, but this is more normal for what we see this time of year.”
Rowser said fire officials are still concerned that the wildfire season will progressively get worse in the coming weeks, especially as dry conditions persist.
“It’s not taking much for these fires to start,” he said. “The afternoon winds we have been having are also fanning these flames even more. We just hope that people will still be cognitive of the fire danger and limit any type of spark. Please pay attention to the fire restrictions.”
The Utah State Forester issued an order banning all open burns last week throughout unincorporated areas of Summit County. The restriction covers the use of personal fireworks, cutting, grinding, welding and cigarette smoking, unless it is done in an area with no vegetation. The order will remain in effect indefinitely.
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The man was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized at the time of his death.