Avon Fire 11

A helicopter circles the Avon Fire in Ogden Valley on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. 

LIBERTY — Powder Mountain remained closed Friday afternoon as firefighters attempted to contain a grass fire that ignited near Liberty on Thursday.

Pineview Reservoir, which was closed because of the fire Thursday afternoon, was reopened as of 4 p.m. Friday, according to Weber Fire District Chief Paul Sullivan.

The Avon fire was 783 acres and 10 percent contained by 4:30 p.m., he said.

Meanwhile, a new fire broke out in heavy vegetation a mile northwest of the Avon blaze, totaling 2 acres, Sullivan said.

Fire bosses directed water-dropping aircraft from the Avon fire to attack the new North Fork fire, he said.

“Luckily, having air resources that close is the only reason that North Fork fire isn’t a lot worse,” Sullivan said.

Eighty firefighters were tackling the Avon fire, including firefighters from the Boise Hotshot Crew. Three helicopters were flying the area, Sullivan said.

The fire started at the Weber Wildlife Shooting Range at about 3 p.m. Thursday, Sullivan said, but the cause is yet to be determined.

The fire was initially reported to be about 1,200 acres at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Sullivan said the initial estimate was made by a pilot, but that after reviewing GPS information they decided to update the acreage of the fire.

According to a tweet from the Utah Department of Transportation, Powder Mountain Highway remained closed due to the fire.

Firefighters were trying to keep the fire north and west of Broadmouth Canyon, south of Public Grove and East of Avon Divide Road, according to the latest update from the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

Leann Fox with the division told the Standard-Examiner more help was expected to arrive throughout the day.

A community meeting has been called to discuss the fire and clarify any questions community members might have, Fox said. The meeting was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday at Eden Park at 2100 N. 5600 E. in Eden.

Sullivan asked people to be careful as the conditions continue to be dry. He also recommended people to have a 50-foot buffer between vegetation and a structure as a way to prevent damage to structures.

Shortly after the fire started, Powder Mountain was evacuated to Snowcrest Junior High School.

Lane Findlay, Weber School District spokesman, said the school was opened Thursday at 4:30 p.m. as the evacuation center point of contact and that Weber County Emergency Management had finished operations by 8 p.m.

The school was operating Friday as usual, Findlay said.

 

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