WILDFIRE

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.

 

 

Today’s Top Stories

Wildfire

Utah Fire Info says the Deuel Creek Fire is now 100% contained. Photo Credit: Utah Fire Info....
Devin Oldroyd

Deuel Creek Fire is now 100% contained, Utah Fire Info says

Utah Fire Info says the Deuel Creek Fire is now 100% contained after days of firefighters combating the blaze.
1 day ago
Smoke is visible behind an airplane...
Devin Oldroyd

Grass fire near Salt Lake City International Airport causes road closure

A grass fire started near Salt Lake City International Airport Wednesday morning.
1 day ago
Deuel Creek fire burns in the nighttime...
Samantha Herrera

Deuel Creek Fire continues to burn, officials hopeful for more containment

As of Tuesday morning, the Deuel Creek Fire was 10% contained and affected 129 acres near Centerville, Utah. Officials continue to work to contain it.
2 days ago
The Deuel Creek Fire started on the hillside above Centerville late Sunday night....
Devin Oldroyd

Deuel Creek Fire starts in Centerville overnight, evacuation order lifted

The Deuel Creek Fire began late Sunday night in Centerville.
3 days ago
Fireworks light up the night sky over Liberty Park Thursday July 24, 2003 Photo by Scott G Winterto...
Mark Jackson

Fireworks and some open flames are now banned in Park City

Just before the holiday weekend, Park City has banned fireworks and non-permitted open flames due to extreme drought conditions and fire risk.
6 days ago
A father and son shop for fireworks in Herriman, Utah...
Samantha Herrera

Tooele fire prompts reminder about firework safety

Illegal fireworks started a fire in Tooele, Utah Tuesday night. Officials reminded Utahns to light fireworks safely and legally this holiday weekend.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
I-80 open after eight-hour closure due to Parley’s Fire