Canyon fire added more calamity, traffic back-up

Feb 6 2013 - 5:44pm


The evening of February 5, after having dinner with friends, my wife and I had to hurry and make our eight o'clock curfew to get home by traveling up Ogden Canyon.   As we waited at the red light at the mouth of the canyon, we had no idea what was in store ahead of us. As the line of traffic proceeded three quarters of the way up the canyon, we came around a corner where we could vaguely see flashing lights. Our first thoughts were, another wreck in the canyon.  

Getting closer and not knowing what to expect, on our right side there was a huge ball of fire. There were fire trucks trying to reach the scene. There was traffic backed up both ways. The fire trucks were doing their best to find a spot to fit in between the long line of vehicles that had been coming up the canyon. The fire fighters, thank heaven, had on protective breathing masks. 

As we sat and tried to move our vehicles so the fire trucks could get near the fire, a sheriff's deputy was trying to back up individual cars one by one so the fire trucks could reach the fire. The line behind us was so long there was no way that was going to happen. The deputy I saw had no breathing gear. If this deputy was not hospitalized for smoke inhalation, or did not call in sick on Wednesday it would have been a miracle. They were certainly doing their best.  

This brings me to the question, "What in the heck were you all thinking, Mayor Mike Caldwell, Mr. UDOT Vic Saunders, and the Weber County commissioners? Was there not one of you who said closing part of Ogden Canyon in the dead of winter was idiotic? 

There have been articles in the paper concerning air quality and the need to turn off our cars. News flash; its winter! The reasoning is, "It's only six minutes wait time."  Baloney!  I have waited close to an hour in the canyon.  

Our thoughts and prayers to the homeowner, firefighters and deputies working in utter chaos. I cannot tell you how disheartening it was to sit and watch someone's house go up in flames.

Bob Smith


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