Fire Crews Work On Deer Creek Fire in Heber
HEBER, Utah – Fire crews worked Saturday to extinguish the Deer Creek Fire that sparked in the afternoon, causing State Route 189 to close for several hours.
At the latest update, the fire had burned more than 85 acres and was at 5 percent containment.
The Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office said they received a call about 3:00 p.m.
Fire crews and air support rushed to stop the flames located southeast of Deer Creek Reservoir.
Traffic was delayed as Utah Highway Patrol troopers closed down a portion of SR 189 and re-routed drivers in the Heber/Charleston area between 3600 South and Highway 113.
Tammi Valgardson was trying to reach her family who was boating in the reservoir. She says they saw the flames spark near a home.
“They actually thought the house was on fire, the flames were coming up above the house, the roof line and then they noticed it was moving away from the house and it moved up the hill with the wind,” said Valgardson.
Authorities confirming the fire was human caused starting in an area in between. two homes on the hill, although the exact cause is still under investigation.
“We have two structures that are minimally threatened that are residences and then we have one business that has minimal threats to it as well on the other side of the ridge,” said Jeremy Hales, Wasatch County Emergency Management director.
The business is a lumber yard and Hales said firefighters were positioned there to protect it.
About 50 firefighters and several agencies responded including the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office, Wasatch County Fire District, Wasatch County Public Works, Wasatch County EMS, Utah Forestry, Fire and State Lands, United States Forest Service, Utah Highway Ptarol, Utah State Parks.
Two choppers were also on scene carrying water from the nearby reservoir.
“About half of the lake isn’t usable right now because they have it blocked off for the helicopters,” said Valgardson.
“We have some retardant drops in order,” Hales said.
State route 189 remained closed until nightfall.
“Due to the aircraft flying over, we need to protect the citizens and everyone’s safety,” said Hales.
We’re told fire crews expect to remain on scene through tomorrow.