150 firefighters worked diligently through the night in Herriman, Utah to battle a blaze that consumed at least 3,500 acres by morning. Families that were evacuated spent time together in a high school not far from the scene, unsure about the future of their homes. Capt. Brad Taylor of the Unified Fire Authority stated that as of the early morning hours on Monday, the fire had not been contained.
Taylor stressed the difficulty in fighting a fire in terrain this tough without the added benefit of daylight. This caused the firefighters to be unable to battle the blaze as definitively as they would during the daytime hours.
Herriman City Councilman Mike Day, who was among those evacuated, described a wall of fire that headed towards his home as he and his family evacuated and warned others.
The uncontrolled blaze was lit on Sunday, by National Guardsmen who were training with live rounds at nearby Camp Williams. Winds as high as 50 mph fanned the flames and caused the fire to spread rapidly.
National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Hank McIntyre said brush fires happen occasionally and that crews believed they had the fire out. The high winds caused the flames to rekindle and they spread quickly. When the fire went through an artillery holding area, it became too risky to follow.
The dry windy conditions are expected to continue on through at least Tuesday, which could further enhance the fire.
As of Monday 1,600 families were displaced due to the fire. No injuries or deaths have been reported at this time.