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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wildfire Destroys Homes, Closes Rockport State Park

It was a relatively quite summer fire season in Utah, until this week. Now, several fires are burning and one near Rockport Reservoir has destroyed homes - and more are threatened. Rockport Reservoir and State Park have been closed to allow emergency crews to operate in the area. Highway 32 past the reservoir is also closed.

Homes around the reservoir have been evacuated. As of this writing, the fire was pushing toward Park City and neighborhoods in Promontory and Wanship had been evacuated. Park City itself was not threatened and there are no closures around the old town or immediate suburbs.

Multiple teams from various agencies are fighting the fire, which was started this afternoon by lightning. It spread rapidly and, as of this writing, at least 12 homes have been destroyed. There are reports that more buildings have burned but it is not known how many were homes or cabins, vs outbuildings.

The Deseret News has this article about the fire. Below are excerpts.

Paul Ewald, of South Jordan, said he was fishing at the reservoir when he saw dark clouds rolling in and decided to head to his car. Just as he got to his vehicle, he saw lightning strike the hillside about a half mile north of where he was standing.

"I drove down there in a couple of minutes and talked to two guys that were in the parking lot there and they both confirmed that lightning hit a telephone pole right opposite the dam, about 15 or 20 yards off the road," Ewald said. "It started very rapidly."

The area where the fire was burning is mainly rolling hills with oak and sage brush and some pockets of Aspen. The fire burned near state Route 32 in Rockport, south of Wanship, which led to the closure of the road at Rockport Dam.

In addition to evacuations at Rockport Estates, Sunrise Loop in the Park City community of Promontory and the Bridge Hollow subdivision in Wanship were also evacuated as a precaution.

Rockport Estates are located on the west side of Rockport Reservoir, also south of Wanship. Some residents live there year-round, but most are there for the summer.

Watch for information on all Utah wildfires.


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