Rockport fire contained
Fire crews are monitoring the area near the Rockport Estates this week to detect any flare-ups after a brush fire struck close to the Rockport Reservoir this past weekend.
The blaze, which ended up consuming 120 acres between July 25 and July 27, started in a yurt and quickly spread to surrounding grasses and sagebrush, said Tyler Rowser, public information officer for the North Summit Fire District.
"It appears to be 100 percent an accident, no foul play, no arson," said Captain Justin Martinez of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators found that the owner of the yurt was adding a deck and was using an electric saw, Martinez said. The blade hit a metallic object, which created a spark. The owner had some water available, but not enough to contain the fire.
The owner could still be held responsible for the cost of suppression effort, Martinez said.
The fire was reported 100-percent contained as of 2:43 p.m. Sunday, according to Rowser. One structure, where the fire originated, was destroyed but no other homes were damaged, he said.
Approximately 220 homes were evacuated as a precaution Friday. Residents returned to their homes late Friday evening and State Road 32 along Rockport Reservoir was reopened.
State Road 32 had been closed between Interstate 80 and Brown’s Canyon Road most of Friday while aircraft dropped water and retardant on the flames.
Friday afternoon, county officials issued a Local Emergency Proclamation in order to receive state assistance.
The fire erupted at about 2 p.m. Friday resulting in the Summit County Sheriff’s Office requesting evacuations through a reverse 911 system.
Friday afternoon, residents of Sage Lane in Rockport Estates were placed under a mandatory evacuation order, and surrounding residents were asked to evacuate voluntarily. Sheriff’s deputies were on hand to rescue children if the need arose, said Martinez.
The Rescue and Rehab Ranch, in Peoa, is operated by Friends of Animals Utah, and officials with the 16,000-square-foot facility made the decision to evacuate during the early hours of the fire. Sharon Cantwell, board member for the non-profit, said 150 dogs and cats were transported to the Park City Pet Resort in Silver Creek, where they stayed overnight until the coast was clear. "We were lucky to have somewhere to go," she said. "It’s a tinderbox up there."
Cantwell said the response to the fire seemed quicker than the response to 2013’s devastating Rockport Fire in the same area.
Rowser said the reaction to this year’s fire was speedier because unlike last year’s fire, homes were threatened from the outset due to where the fire started. "That immediately ramps up the response," he said.
The Park City Fire District, North Summit Fire District, South Summit Fire District and U.S. Forest Service firefighters responded to the fire, said Rowser.
Rockport Estates is a community south of Wanship located on the west side of Rockport Reservoir.
A former Summit County victim advocate who was facing a felony count of misusing public money pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge in a deal with prosecutors.