I-80 open after eight-hour closure due to Parley’s Fire

Aug 7, 2020, 7:55 PM
fire crews, I-80 open after eight-hour closure due to Parley's Fire...
(Choppers drop water on the hot spots of the Parley's Fire. Credit: Paul Nelson)
(Choppers drop water on the hot spots of the Parley's Fire. Credit: Paul Nelson)

PARLEY’S CANYON – It’s not a big fire, but crews say it’s a hard one to fight.  Fire officials have reopened I-80 through Parley’s Canyon, but they say they still have a lot of work to do to knock down the Parley’s Fire. 

By Friday afternoon, officials estimated the fire had blackened about 80 acres and was only five percent contained.  The weather wasn’t as bad of a problem for fire crews as it was Thursday night, but the terrain in the area is very steep, making conditions very difficult for fire fighters.

The blaze is burning a little differently than others.  Kait Webb with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands says they call it a “dirty burn,” which means there is vegetation in the area hasn’t burned, and the area could reignite.  Investigators believe they know how it started.

(Choppers drop water on the hot spots of the Parley’s Fire. Credit: Paul Nelson)

“The suspected cause is a dragging chain from a vehicle.  We suspect it started along I-80,” Webb says.

However, they still need help from the public to find the driver.

Webb says, “If you’re driving in the area of Parley’s [Thursday] and noticed a large dump truck with a dark brown color that was dragging chains, please contact us and let us know.”

Crews closed I-80 between Foothill Blvd. and Jeremy Ranch for roughly eight hours because of the blaze.  Jeff Reynolds with the UDOT Incident Management Team says they needed to shut the interstate down to ensure choppers dumping water on the fire had a safe flight path as they criss-crossed I-80. 

Reynolds says, “That is a safety hazard for the public if one of those buckets dropped off by some chance and water hit them… it’s just safer for everybody to shut it down.”

Officials tried to give commuters as much warning as they could about the closure, but it still caught many people off-guard.

One commuter, Luke Hayes, says, “It’s unbelievable to have such a major freeway be totally shut down.  I feel bad for the truckers and the other guys who are trying to make their routes.”

Much bigger delays for truck drivers

When the freeway was closed, there was a line of semi-trucks pulled off to the side on westbound I-80 near the Jeremy Ranch exit, with drivers plotting their next move.  Some tell KSL they started their day early in the morning, and they were not told by their company the freeway was shutting down.  One driver, Jason Levesque, was only 23 miles away when the closure happened.

(Some of the drivers pulled over to the side of the freeway due to the closure. Credit: Paul Nelson)

He says, “My only alternate route is about 93 miles out of the way.”

The alternate routes for truckers were not great.  They could either take I-84 to Ogden or Hwy. 189 in Provo Canyon.  Levesque says either option would give him at least another two hours of driving.

“By the time I make that two-hour drive, I’ll be in rush hour in Salt Lake City and I probably will not be able to make it to my delivery point before they stop accepting deliveries,” he says.

Other drivers like Wilfredo Ortiz say if they miss a deadline on Friday, they’ll often have to wait a couple of days before they can unload their cargo.

Ortiz says, “Maybe, I won’t be able to do it until Monday.  I don’t know.”

One driver says if he has to wait until Monday to deliver, he won’t be back home for a week.



We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team. here.

Today’s Top Stories


Utah Roadkill Reporter is a new app helping reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions. Available on Google...
Devin Oldroyd

DWR and UDOT introducing new app Utah Roadkill Reporter

Utah Roadkill Reporter is a new app helping reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions. Available on Google Play and the App store now.
2 days ago
two deer are pictured gazing up along the grass, research will take a deep dive into deer this seas...
Elizabeth Weiler

DWR conducting deer research and checkups via helicopter transport

SALT LAKE CITY — Deer are plentiful in the Beehive State. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said this time of year is prime time to conduct deer research. DWR biologists are taking on a new form of research. The organization plans to capture deer and transport them via helicopter to different staging areas across […]
10 days ago
Prosecutors are dismissing the case against a man accused of starting the Jacob City Fire in July....
Adam Small

Case of Jacob City Fire suspect dismissed

Prosecutors are dismissing the case against a man accused of starting the Jacob City Fire in July.
15 days ago
Unmanned drones that drop fireballs are one of the latest weapons against wildfires in the U.S....
Natalia V. Osipova and Catherine Thorbecke, CNN Business

These fireball-dropping wildfire drones are on the frontlines of prevention

The founder of Drone Amplified says the drones method works by burning dead leaves and sticks that could cause wildfire later in the summer.
21 days ago
Pile burning near Kamas for wildfire control....
Waverly Golden

Remember your fire sense, pile burning in Kamas City

If you're in the Kamas City area and see smoke, don't be alarmed. Fire crews ignited piles in the Left-hand Canyon in Kamas City.
1 month ago
Fire in Logan is out....
Waverly Golden

Grass fire in Logan burned about a quarter of an acre

Logan City Fire Department said in a Facebook post that a fire in the area of 700 North and 350 West, Logan, is now out.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
I-80 open after eight-hour closure due to Parley’s Fire