South Willow Canyon Fire contained, cause unknown

Sep 17, 2019, 1:31 PM
south willow canyon fire...
An overnight fire in rural Tooele County scorched the side of a valley. Photo: John Wojcik, KSL NewsRadio

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — An overnight fire in northern Tooele County, the South Willow Canyon Fire, grew in size due to gusty winds and wasn’t fully contained until after it completely destroyed a cabin.

Fire officials got the initial call around 2 a.m. about a possible fire on south Willow Canyon.

North Tooele County Fire Chief Randy Willden says the grass fire had fully engulfed a structure by the time they arrived.

“When we got here it was just all rubble, there was no structure left, it was all complete rubble on the ground,” explained Chief Willden.

That structure turned out to be a vacant cabin.

“The owner had left over the weekend, they’re weekend dwellers,” he said.

Chief Willden says the major challenge throughout the early morning hours was battling strong wind gusts.

Flames were being blown up the canyon at least one hundred feet. Additionally, a number of trees nearby had caught fire as well.

Homes are fairly well spread out in that area, yet the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office went door to door to make residents aware of evacuations.

At this time, fire officials say it’s too early to pinpoint the cause of the fire.

“Right now it’s chicken-egg, we’re not sure,” he said.

Chief Willden says overnight storms and lightning could be a factor, but it’s too early to know.

Approximately 30 firefighters were on scene, which included Grantsville City Fire and North Tooele Fire.

Additionally, water tender, also known as a tanker truck, from the Tooele Army Depot was utilized in order to help fight flames.

There have been no reported injuries.

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South Willow Canyon Fire contained, cause unknown