Brush fire near Red Butte Gardens begins weekend fire season

Ref. : http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705375658/Brush-fire-near-Red-Butte-Gardens-begins-weekend-fire-season.html

SALT LAKE CITY — The heat was on Sunday, as 100-degree temperatures registered the hottest day of the year and sent Utahns scrambling for cover.

On I-15 near Bangerter Highway, two southbound lanes were closed after high temperatures caused a concrete slab to buckle.

A brush fire in the mountains east of Red Butte Gardens at the University of Utah campus began Sunday at 2 p.m and spread over 20 acres. As of Sunday evening, officials said the fire was 40 percent contained. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but officials were not ruling out human involvement.

"This vegetation is dry, it's ready to burn and it's moving," Salt Lake Fire Cpt. Mark Bednarik said.

Bednarik said the fire was a "close call," with flames coming as close as 150 yards to structures. He could not speculate on when the fire would be contained, but said crews would be working through the night and were optimistic of having a perimeter around the fire Monday morning. The west side of the fire, which threatened Red Butte Gardens, the Chevron oil pipeline and the Natural History Museum, was completely contained while the east side continued to burn.

"The east side is still a big concern," Bednarik said.

Bednarik said that precautions were taken to ensure the well-being of the 120 firefighters working in the extreme heat. As of Sunday evening no injuries – of crew members or residents – were reported.

In the mountains east of Weber State University in Ogden, a fire was contained early Sunday morning after illegal fireworks triggered the burn around 11 p.m. Saturday, officials said. The people using the fireworks called the fire department and crews from five agencies struggled to reach the location due to the mountain terrain and lack of roads.

The fire burned nearly two acres before it was contained and did not reach any homes, officials said.

In the Daybreak Community of South Jordan, a garage was set on fire by fireworks around 10:20 p.m. Saturday. South Jordan Fire Battalion Chief Wayne Edginton said a homeowner was putting on a fireworks show outside his home in an open area when something went "awry" and fireworks were ignited inside the garage. A spectator standing approximately 180 feet away was struck by shrapnel and drove himself to the hospital after experiencing burns and lacerations, Edginton said. Two other individuals were treated on the scene for smoke inhalation.

Steve Rodgers was watching the fireworks from across Oquirrh Lake and said it looked like a professional show. When the fireworks stopped, the show didn't.

"There were fireworks going off inside the garage and flames rolling out through the garage door," Rodgers said.

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