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Utah wildfire forces 13,000 to evacuate as state faces critical fire weather

Thousands of residents in one Utah community have been forced to evacuate as a fast-spreading wildfire burned some 10,000 acres of Monday as more critical fire weather is in the forecast for the state.

The city of Saratoga Springs said as of Monday morning that the Knolls Fire is about 25 percent contained and that evacuations and road closures remain in the area located about 34 miles south of Salt Lake City.

“Crews accessing homes, downed power lines & other potential hazards,” city officials said. “Please stay clear of the area.”

CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER OUT WEST, EXTREME HEAT IN PLAINS AS SAHARAN DUST LINGERS

So far, officials said 12 homes have been damaged and one home outside of city limits was destroyed.

The city of Saratoga Springs said as of Monday morning that the Knolls Fire is about 25 percent contained.

The city of Saratoga Springs said as of Monday morning that the Knolls Fire is about 25 percent contained.
(City of Saratoga Springs, Utah)

The blaze was first reported after 2 p.m. on Sunday burning south of Saratoga Springs and east of Lake Mountain, being driven north by high winds.

The blaze posed an immediate threat to properties.

Video released by the Utah County Fire Marshal and credited to a Deputy Haymond showed a backyard fence ablaze when the fire was zero percent contained on Sunday. The fire was spreading quickly with the help of winds gusting near 60 mph.

The city council issued a declaration of local emergency as more than 13,000 residents in some 3,000 homes were ordered to evacuate, FOX13 reported.

Evacuated residents who needed shelter were asked to go to Westlake High School in Saratoga Springs. Those who are able were asked to find family or friends to stay with.

Road closures were also reported in the area as crews worked to try to contain the blaze.

FIREWORKS SPARK UTAH WILDFIRE THAT FORCED RESIDENTS OUT OF THEIR HOMES, OFFICIALS SAY

Resident Kenzie Egan told the Deseret News she left her home with her daughter about 15 minutes after packing the essentials to a neighborhood covered in soot, which she described as “alarming.”

The Knolls Fire erupted on Sunday afternoon.

The Knolls Fire erupted on Sunday afternoon.
(Utah Fire Info)

“My daughter has really severe asthma, and so that made things a little bit scarier,” she told the newspaper. “I could tell that her asthma was acting up, and when we were leaving we had a ton of ash in the air, and it was in the inside of our car as we were packing up to go.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation. No injures have been reported, according to officials.

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The blaze on Sunday came as fire crews were still working to contain another blaze that was sparked over the weekend by illegal fireworks.

The Traverse Fire burns behind homes in Lehi, Utah, Sunday, June 28, 2020. Officials say fireworks caused the wildfire and forced evacuations early Sunday morning.

The Traverse Fire burns behind homes in Lehi, Utah, Sunday, June 28, 2020. Officials say fireworks caused the wildfire and forced evacuations early Sunday morning.
(Justin Reeves via AP)

Utah Fire Info said the Traverse Fire was 26 percent contained as of Sunday night, despite strong winds in the area.

The Traverse Fire burns near homes in Lehi, Utah, Sunday, June 28, 2020.

The Traverse Fire burns near homes in Lehi, Utah, Sunday, June 28, 2020.
(Justin Reeves via AP)

Fire officials said the fire was started by fireworks and said “strong, gusty winds” were responsible for its rapid spread across the mountainside.

Video posted to Twitter shows the fire burning on the foothills of Traverse Mountain on Saturday night.

An evacuation order put in place for neighborhoods in Lehi was lifted on Sunday.

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A third fire, the Canal Fire, has forced about 300 residents near the town of Leamington to evacuate as the blaze experienced “extreme fire behavior” on Sunday and torched thousands of acres.

That blaze is more than 78 square miles, according to Utah Fire Info.

Critical fire conditions exist on Monday across the West and Southwest.

Critical fire conditions exist on Monday across the West and Southwest.
(Fox News)

Critical fire weather returned to the Western U.S. on Monday as increased chances for wildfires are expected in Western states throughout the week.

Critical fire conditions exist on Monday across the West and Southwest.

Critical fire conditions exist on Monday across the West and Southwest.
(Fox News)

A combination of hot temperatures, low humidity, dry lightning, and gusty winds will bring an elevated risk of critical fire weather across the Inter-Mountain West, Southwest, and Southern Rockies.

Fox News’ Adam Klotz contributed to this report.



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