10-alarm fire forces Herriman residents from homes again
3 homes destroyed, 2 damaged, many structures burned in Rose Crest Fire
Choquette said she had just a few minutes to grab what she could think of. “All I had to time to grab was a kitten, a dog, a computer, my wallet, and not even shoes. We left two goats and 12 chickens up the mountain as well as two cats, and the kids are really upset about that.”
950 homes evacuated
Approximately 950 homes were in the area where officials ordered a mandatory evacuation, which remained in place overnight. Everyone east and south of Rose Canyon Road, including the subdivisions or Rose Canyon and Herriman Cove, were forced to evacuate. Jensen said up to 470 homes there received reverse 911 calls Friday afternoon warning them to get out of the area.
Approximately 115 people and several small animals took advantage of the shelter the Red Cross set up at Herriman High School.
"If you look around, you can see how dry it is. You can see how much the wind is pushing. We just want everyone to be safe," Jensen said.
"It will save ourselves a lot of grief if we're a little cautious," Herbert said Friday night, renewing his message for all Utahns to be careful outdoors this dry season. "It's disappointing we have to (talk about homes destroyed) again."
A Type 3 team from the U.S. Forest Service was expected to take control of the fire about 6 a.m. Saturday. Jensen said local firefighters would be on the scene all night, including crews from the U.S. National Guard on top of the mountain ridgeline.
Jensen said the overnight concern was shifting winds pushing the fire south toward Camp Williams and west to another subdivision.
"The biggest X factor for any of our fires throughout the state is wind," Herbert said.
KSL-TV meteorologist Lynae Miyer said overnight winds in the Herriman area were expected to be between 5 and 15 mph and could become stronger again Saturday afternoon.
Herbert heard about the fire in Herriman while he was visiting two volunteer firefighters at University Hospital's burn unit. Both were injured in the Clay Springs Fire in Millard County. Cameron Neilsen and Ross Anderson suffered burns over 20 percent to 40 percent of their bodies, he said.
"We cannot thank them enough. It is truly a miracle they survived," Herbert said. "These are modern day heroes who volunteered to step into harm’s way for others. Once again I am inspired by the great people who call Utah home.”
Jensen said the Herriman fire would likely burn for a few more days. Officials will re-evaluate Saturday morning whether the evacuation order for some areas can be lifted.
Two people suffered injuries while trying to evacuate from the area. The injuries were sustained from uncooperative horses, officials said.
"Herbert called the Herriman area, like many areas of Utah, "a tinder box ready to go up" because of the extremely dry conditions.
"That's why fire officials are on edge this year," Jensen said, noting the dry spring Utah had.
Another problem for police and fire crews was the the gridlock and crowds of people lining the streets late Friday afternoon. Some were spectators. Others were trying to get into the area that was evacuated to get livestock and personnel items.
"If this happens again, people have to understand that rushing to the scene is not helpful," said Unifed Police Chief Jim Winder.
Kurtis Constantine said his stepfather was at home in Herriman when he got a call from one of his friends who said, "Your hill is on fire. Get out of the house."
His stepfather had time to get his dogs and open the gate for his horses and hook up his trailer, but couldn't get any of the horses loaded up. "He said he was pulling through the flames as he was getting out of his house."
- Better than a raise: The smallest thing you...
- Many Mormon missionaries who return home...
- Utah husband wins 'Most Memorable Moment'...
- Supervolcano hidden in plain sight in Utah...
- Nurse threatened to kill patient after...
- Doug Robinson: We are in the midst of an era...
- Skier rescued from Alta avalanche by...
- Charges: Naked man bites dog
- Many Mormon missionaries who return... 123
- Legal analysis supports Utah's law on... 36
- As winter takes hold, needs increase... 29
- Martin MacNeill cuts self with razor in... 15
- Do Utah high school students need four... 15
- Rare snowstorm traps I-15 motorists... 13
- John Swallow lost computer hard drive... 12
- 'Deseret News Sunday Edition' looks at... 10