Utah fire destroys 14 homes near resort town


BY MICHELLE L. PRICE and BRADY McCOMBS, AP

WANSHIP, Utah — A wildfire threatened hundreds of homes Wednesday after destroying more than a dozen others outside the resort town of Park City.

The lightning-sparked blaze was among several in the West where fires have devoured dry grass and brush and burned to the edges of small communities.

Shifting winds in Utah pushed the fire toward homes in a subdivision about 10 miles outside Park City. It destroyed a dozen homes on Tuesday, plus another home overnight.

A 14th home burned Wednesday after strong winds kicked up in the afternoon, the Deseret News reported. The blaze also burned 20 outbuildings and several vehicles and boats, fire officials said.

The fire began near a populated area and had grown to 2,000 acres, or nearly 3 square miles, by Wednesday evening. About 250 homes northeast of Park City remain threatened, including some along a golf course in the gated community of Promontory.

Residents who hoped to return home Wednesday night aren’t likely to be allowed back in until Thursday at the earliest, said Utah fire official Mike Eriksson. Some were allowed to pick up pets and medication early Wednesday.

Steady winds and rising temperatures stoked the fire Wednesday afternoon, sending large clouds of brownish-black smoke into the sky. The fire was still only about 25 percent contained, said Utah fire official Mike Eriksson.

“The winds haven’t been helping out with this fire,” Eriksson said. “It’s definitely growing.”