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8 homes, 3 other buildings destroyed in Moab fire, officials say

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com  |  Posted Jun 12th, 2018 @ 10:59pm


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MOAB — Authorities are cleaning up after a fire destroyed eight homes, two parking structures and one garage in Moab, officials said Tuesday.

Moab City Police Chief Jim Winder said the fire started early Tuesday afternoon in a heavily wooded area along Pack Creek, on the south side of town near the border of Moab City and Grand County.

Wednesday morning update
  • Crews "mopping up"
  • 150 people evacuated
  • Fire 100 percent contained
  • Rocky Mountain Power customers without power: 22
  • Press conference expected sometime Wednesday morning

The blaze started as a brush fire, Moab Fire Chief Phil Mosher said at a press conference Tuesday night. Winds quickly moved the flames through grass and cottonwood trees along the creek, and it also spread to the tops of the trees, he said. Residents in the Cinema Court Apartments were quickly evacuated, Winder said.

By about 8:15 p.m., city officials said the fire was "being controlled." At 10 p.m., it was in the mop-up stage, but there were still several smoldering hot spots, Mosher said.

There were no injuries except for some emergency responders suffering from smoke inhalation, officials said. Five firefighters were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, Grand County EMS director Andy Smith said.

One firefighter lost his home in the blaze, Mosher said. Several other emergency responders were indirectly affected by the losses, Winder added.

At least 150 people were left displaced after the blaze, Winder said. The 11 buildings were being considered total losses, he added.

Grand County Sheriff Steve White said the area has been dealing with extreme fire conditions. With July 4 coming up, he urged people to use restraint.

"Everybody needs to be cautious," White said. Investigators were still working to determine the fire's cause, he added.

Anyone who may have seen something or who has information about the fire is asked to contact the Grand County Sheriff's Office, he said. He also asked people to report damages to his office.

The Gonzo Inn of Moab, at 100 W. 200 South, was opening vacant hotel rooms to people who have been displaced by the fire. People affected can contact the hotel at 435-259-2515.

Moab Regional Hospital officials said people who are on oxygen can go to the hospital. Those affected by the power outage also can go to the hospital, according to city officials.

Evacuation centers for those displaced by the fire were set up at the Gravel Pit Lanes bowling alley at 1078 Mill Creek Drive and at the Grand Center at 182 N. 500 West, city officials said. Smith said the American Red Cross would be in the city on Wednesday to assist with recovery efforts.

Winder said some residents, including some in Cinema Court Apartments, would be allowed back to their homes later on Tuesday night.

More than 3,000 people were briefly without power in the area, according to Rocky Mountain Power's website. By 8:24 p.m., the power was back on in Moab, city officials said.

As of 10:30 p.m., RMP's website showed about 420 still had no power in Spanish Valley, southeast of Moab. Officials were estimating the power would be restored by midnight.

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Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com
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