Morgan wildfire grows, threatens I-84

Wednesday , July 23, 2014 - 5:24 AM

MORGAN - It has been a bad couple of days for firefighters battling the Tunnel Hollow Fire in Morgan County. 

Starting around 200 acres on Monday, winds picked up and spread the fire to nearly 1,000 acres by Tuesday, said Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands spokesman Jason Curry.

The fire, which began Sunday night, is thought to have been caused by a lightning strike. The fire is located near the area of Taggart Lane, a few miles east of Morgan. 

Curry said ground and air units were being deployed to suppress the fire’s movement. Their main concern was the fire moving toward Interstate 84 and spreading to the other side. The fire was already up against the adjacent train tracks.

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Motorists should expect delays and potential closures as smoke fills the area and fire vehicles will need access to the encroaching fire, Curry said. Drivers should use caution or avoid the route altogether.

The state Division of Forestry is also closing the Weber River for recreation such as fishing and rafting. 

Nearby, the Indian Fire located at the mouth of Ogden Canyon was nearly 100 percent contained. 

The U.S. Forest Service announced that it would be releasing all resources except for one fire engine which will monitor the fire until it is completely out. All the adjacent hiking trails that were closed such as the Bonneville Shoreline Trail were to be reopened Tuesday.

Although the fire was nearly out, the Ogden Fire Department warned that the danger of more fires is still present. 

“All fireworks and open flames are restricted east of Harrison Boulevard and along the Ogden River Parkway,“ said Ogden Fire Marshal Kevin Brown in a statement. “Patrols and enforcement of the areas will be increased for the holiday period. The fire department asks for your cooperation in order for everyone to have a safe and fun 24th.”

Elsewhere in the state, multiple fire agencies were battling several wildfires in Tooele County, most believed to be started by lightning.

The largest is the Anaconda Fire which had burned 1,000 acres just east of Tooele. 

Contact reporter Andreas Rivera at 801-625-4227 or arivera@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @SE_Andreas.

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