Fire at The Cove!

Posted on September 20, 2010 by sonjabarrie

I got a number of calls last night from friends and neighbors who all knew we owned property at The Cove in Herriman, Utah.  Herriman is pretty close to Camp Williams, and here's the official blurb on the Camp:

Camp Williams is a National Guard Training Site operated by the Utah Army National Guard. It is located 26 miles south of Salt Lake City. It consists of 28,000 acres of training areas and has a billeting capacity of 2,800 troops. The main training site for the UTNG, including artillery, engineers, academies & other units. Adjacent to large metropolitan areas — Salt Lake City & Provo — the area consists of semi-desert and sage steppe.

Pretty big area huh? Well it seems not big enough, or too big depending on your point of view.  During training exercises yesterday 19th of September, they were practicing with their machine guns and a spark ignited the dry tundra. They knew right away what they had done and went into action but anyone who knows anything about sage knows its like the creosote plant, very volatile and once it starts burning it is hell to extinguish. If it had been a small area they might have got it under control sooner on the other hand you would think with such a big area it might have burned itself out, either way most of Herriman is now in trouble.

The other problem with Herriman is it could very easily be called "The Windy City" if indeed it was a city, it is a very windy area ALL the time. Needless to say yesterday was no exception.  The photos were taken by one of my other tenants in another house that thankfully isn't in The Cove but is still pretty close to the fire.

The whole of The Cove was evacuated and I doubt my house will be damaged as we are too far into the subdivision and it would have to burn at least 20 houses before it got to ours, not that it couldn't happen of course.

They put the rest of Herriman in lock down to stop looters, I think my tenant describes the situation pretty succinctly in his email:

I’m sure that you are aware that a fire was triggered by the National Guard yesterday afternoon.  Initially the path of the fire was directly over the Herriman Springs Cove area;  some homes were lost in the development but I don’t think that yours was quite in that line.  However, that area has been completely evacuated and we are all in a lock-down and can’t get in or out so I have not been able to drive over there- I will do so as soon as possible and give you an update.  As for this home the fire came down the hill up by the lake and we were ordered to leave but my sons and I felt that the fire was not threatening enough and we chose to monitor it through the night.  Looting was a little bit of a problem and we thought it best to protect the property as long as possible.  Today the fire is under control and the helicopters are aggressively attacking the hot spots before the next front comes through.  The high winds were the biggest challenge last night and the fire kept switching directions which is why the authorities are making a concerted effort to extinguish the hot spots before the weather changes.

The photo's attached were taken from the front deck and looking up towards the lake; the home in the bottom left of the frame is the newest home just built across the street and on the corner- by this photo you can see that the fire was fairly close at times.  Things were pretty chaotic throughout the community and as always in times like this, many people were somewhat panicky.  There was and continues to be a strong contingency of law enforcement in the neighborhood but its amazing how these events tend to bring the  criminal element “out of the woodwork”.  An officer told Joshua this morning that at least a half dozen people were removed from the neighborhood who were suspicious and had no valid reason for being the area..

Thank you Markus for the update and pictures. Here's his photo's, I'll post more photos as I get them.

Fire in Herriman

This was taken from the front porch, the window in the bottom left is the house across the strreet.

Fire in Herriman

Fire in Herriman

Fire in Herriman

Fire in Herriman

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