MOAB — Eight homes were destroyed Tuesday when a fire near Pack Creek moved through the area, according to police.
The fire along Pack Creek was reported to be fully contained about 9 p.m., but not before it consumed several structures and displaced many residents.
Eight homes, two garages and a shop were total losses, according to city and county officials.
During a press conference streamed online Tuesday night, Moab Fire Chief Phillip Mosher said the fire started as a brush fire, and then moved quickly through grass that "burns very well."
The fire is under investigation.
Mosher said the structures that burned were still "smoldering" Tuesday night, and firefighters are working so that people can return to their homes and assess their losses.
Details about the size of the fire and how many residents were displaced were not immediately available. The only injuries reported in the blaze were "responders suffering smoke inhalation," according to the city's Facebook post.
In light of the damage done Tuesday night, Grand County Sheriff Steven White said fire restrictions already in place will likely be increased.
"This is just the sad reality when you don't respect these restrictions," he said. "I think we need to be extremely conscious."
Residents in the Mill Creek Drive area evacuated their homes when the fire began around 7 p.m., and others were warned to stay out of the area.
Sabrina Warden, one of the residents evacuated Tuesday, described the moment she first saw the flames. At first, all she saw was "the smallest bit of smoke. Like very light gray," she said.
"And all of a sudden you could see all these fire trucks coming in and how it just like engulfed everything so fast. And how black it got was like just insane," she recalled.
Warden said, during what she called "one of the most frightening moments" of her life, that she saw the flames move very quickly, engulfing trees within 10 minutes.
Kevin Sheets, a resident who was helping build a fire line ahead of the blaze, said the fire had already claimed structures by about 7:30 p.m.
Progress was being made, he said, "but it's hot spots everywhere right now," he told the Deseret News in a phone call while helping at the scene of the fire. Video from Sheets showed structures burning while people fought flames and drenched scorched lawns with garden hoses.
Sheets said he was driving downtown when he saw the blaze. The home of a coworker was threatened by the fire, so Sheets and others helped him evacuate. After that, Sheets decided to stay and help, he said.
During the fire, there were "a lot of local citizens that have really stepped it up. I mean, there's hundreds of locals that've come in here to help with shovels, and they're dipping buckets of water out of the creek and running it up. It's just awesome," Sheets said.
At one point, more than 2,000 customers were without power, Rocky Mountain Power reported on its website. That number was later reduced to just over 400.Comment on this story
The Gonzo Inn in Moab, 100 W. 200 South, posted on social media that vacant rooms at the hotel were being opened for those displaced by the fire, while phones, Wi-Fi and drinks would be available in the lobby for anyone who needed them.
"Our hearts go out to you," representatives from the hotel wrote on Facebook.
Two evacuation centers were also set up for residents displaced from their homes. One was in the Gravel Pit Lanes bowling alley, 1078 Mill Creek Drive, and another was in the Grand Center, 182 N. 500 West, city officials wrote on Facebook.
Fairfield Inn and Suites, 863 N. Highway 191, was also offering rooms for the night for $5 to people who had been displaced, according to an employee at the hotel.