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Rose Crest Fire: Herriman residents’ despair turns to relief

Most homes and animal sanctuary are spared as residents express gratitude for fire crews.



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"The way that everyone came together to help us, it was a blessing," Ching said. "People who didn’t even know about us until they saw us on the news were driving from downtown to help us. It was an amazing effort."

On one of her many trips Sunday she pointed frustratingly to a fireworks stand just a few minutes from her property, worried that this week’s festivities could set off more blazes. "We shouldn’t be having those," she said.

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Gov. Gary Herbert has not implemented a statewide ban due to the Utah Fireworks Act, which says cities can’t enact ordinances that prohibit people from discharging legal fireworks from July 1-7 and July 21-27.

State law does grant authority to cities to restrict the use of fireworks to certain areas and there are some restrictions in place, such as several bans covering the areas along the foothills.

On Friday Herbert sent a letter to religious leaders asking for their prayers for residents and fire crews working to contain the blazes.

"We are in need of an extra measure of help as we battle these conflagrations," he wrote.

For many in the Herriman area, they feel as if some of their prayers already have been answered.

"We didn’t lose anything," Ching said. "It was a blessing."

On Saturday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved a Fire Management Assistance Grant for the Rose Crest Fire, one of 21 approved for Western states this fire season.

The grants are made available by FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible items can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; mobilization and demobilization activities; and tools, materials and supplies.


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Federal agencies have also deployed 22 Incident Management Teams to help provide a coordinated and aggressive response to wildfires across the country, including Utah’s Seeley Fire.

Two new wildfires erupted Sunday afternoon, one in southern Utah’s Kane County, about 30 miles southwest of Bryce Canyon, and another in Cache County, about five miles south of Logan.

Millville Canyon • Cache County fire crews were battling a human-caused fire in Millville Canyon, which had burned 120 acres by 10:30 p.m. No structures were threatened, according to a tweet from Logan City Fire.

Cache County Fire Marshal Jason Winn said the fire was started by target shooters at about 4 p.m. Two people have been questioned and released pending further investigation, Logan fire officials said. More than 20 fires have been started this year by gunfire.

The blaze was burning in steep terrain east of the town of Millville, and the closest home was a half mile away, said Winn, who expected no evacuations.

Shingle Fire • In Kane County, crews were fighting a blaze on forest land that by 9:30 p.m. had burned 500 acres. Tina Greenhalgh, with the Color Country Interagency Fire Center, said about 100 cabins were initially threatened by the human-caused Shingle Fire. Residents of cabins in Swains Creek and Stout Creek were evacuated.

Elsewhere in the state, Sunday’s continued hot, dry weather gave no relief to crews battling wildfires.

Clay Springs Fire • The state’s largest active wildfire, the Clay Springs Fire in Millard County, grew by more than 10,000 acres from Saturday to Sunday to nearly 100,000 acres and was 40 percent contained. The fire was threatening 75 buildings and had destroyed one summer home and two outbuildings. About 450 personnel are fighting the blaze.

Seeley Fire • Last estimated at 23,410 acres in Carbon County, the blaze was 4 percent contained. Full-time residents of Scofield may return to their homes but must get an access pass from the emergency center at 1550 E. Airport Road in Price. The greater Scofield area and Clear Creek remain under evacuation.

Wolf Den Fire • In Uintah County, the Wolf Den Fire nearly doubled in size to 15,800 acres overnight.

"It’s blown up," said fire spokeswoman Kelsey Birchell. Though it wasn’t threatening any homes, crews had to act quickly to protect oil and gas wells. It was zero percent contained Sunday.

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