HERRIMAN, UT: A roaring wildfire has forced more than 1,400 evacuations southwest of Salt Lake City as flames engulfed hundreds of acres Monday. The 300-acre fire originated at a firing range at Camp Williams, a National Guard site about 30 miles from Salt Lake City, and moved onward to the small town of Herriman. Unfortunately, the soldiers did not have the equipment or manpower necessary to stop it from spreading.
Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Don Hutson explained the conditions of the Herriman fire. He said,
Literally, the fire was coming down into the backyards of many of these residents. It was lifesaving efforts trying to get people out of the area because of a very, very fast-moving fire — literally moving faster than anybody could run.
Hutson went on to say that the heavy winds topping out at 40 to 50 miles per hour forced the fire over a mountain ridge and down into the Salt Lake Valley.
In order to contain the fire, the National Guard enlisted three Blackhawk helicopters and 124 troops, officials said. An emergency declaration was issued by Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon and Federal Emergency Management announced that they would pay 75 percent of the state’s firefighting costs.
The Jordan School District announced the closure of Herriman High School, Fort Herriman Middle School, Butterfield Canyon Elementary, Silvercrest Elementary, Herriman Elementary and Foothills Elementary until the blaze is under control.
A hotline has been put in place to answer questions about the Herriman fire. Those with questions are asked to call 801-446-5323.