Fire sweeps through Weber Canyon

Weber Canyon fire. (Courtesy Jennifer Morris)

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) - Over 500 acres were scorched and six structures destroyed in a brush fire that began at the mouth of Weber Canyon early Tuesday morning.

Authorities closed US Highway 89 in both directions as the blaze intensified and spread, threatening homes, businesses and public transportation.

According to Layton City, 80 firefighters and 35 firefighting units initially responded to extinguish the blaze.

Residents were evacuated from the Uintah Highlands area, including Bonneville Terrace, Karen Drive, Combe and Regency.

Interstate 84 eastbound became smoke-covered, rendering travel impossible. Uintah City threatened to prepare for emergency evacuation after the fire jumped Highway 89.

Weber Fire District urged evacuees to report to the Dee Events Center, which was named the evacuation center.

At this point, multiple structures became involved in the fire. Citizens along Bybee and those living North of South Weber Drive were told to evacuate immediately.

The fire advanced along I-84, further threatening vehicles and homes.

At 10:45 a.m. Layton City PIO reported the fire jumped I-84, involving structures in South Weber. Firefighters rushed to defend additional homes.

Minutes later, the number of homes lost to the fire increased to five.

I-89 became closed in both directions, from 195 to Skyline Drive. I-84 became closed from Mountain Green to Riverdale. At this point, more than 100 firefighters were responding.

More than 1,000 people had been evacuated by 10:51 a.m. At the same time, Davis County urged people living North of South Weber Drive to evacuate.

Students at South Weber Elementary were evacuated to Clearfield High School.

Evacuees and residents of Mt. View Assisted Living were relocated to Ridge Senior Center in Salt Lake City.

At 11:20 a.m. Weber Fire District announced that aircraft were beginning to work on extinguishing the fire.

Weber County later reported three fixed-wing planes, two roto-winged planes, two helicopters, and two single-engine tankers were engaged in the firefighting operation.

At 12:32 p.m. Weber Fire District confirmed over 500 acres were scorched, and 6 structures were destroyed.

By 12:52 p.m. residents of South Weber City were allowed to return to their homes, and that traffic was resuming on WB Hwy 84 to Hwy 89.

The Utah National Guard later contributed, sending two Black Hawk helicopters to join emergency responders.

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