Authorities: Dump Truck Dragging Chains Likely Sparked Parley’s Fire

Aug 7, 2020, 8:05 AM | Updated: 12:34 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Parley’s Fire, which started Thursday along I-80 in Parley’s Canyon, was human-caused authorities said.

Investigators said they suspect dragging chains sparked the fire, and they are on the lookout for a brown dump truck that was traveling on the highway around 5:30 – 6 p.m.

Shelley Thayne Rich is one of hundreds of people who have homes in the canyon.

“I’ve hardly slept all night and worries do much about our cabin that we’ve gone to since I was a little girl,” she said.

Rich drove up the canyon first thing Friday morning. That’s when she learned the fire that was burning so close to her cabin was human-caused.

“It makes me so angry because there was a fire that began here at the shooting range a couple of years ago,” she said.

Mandatory evacuations are still in place.

“When the area’s safe, we will let people back in,” said Kait Webb, public information officer for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. “Crews are working as hard as they can today to secure the fire perimeter and secure those structures so everyone can get back to their homes as soon as possible.”

Webb noted there is a lack of smoke in the area, but it’s not an indicator that the fire is out.

Update on Parley's Fire

LIVE: Authorities hold press conference on Parley's Fire, which force evacuations and shut down I-80.

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Friday, August 7, 2020

“It looks very quiet this morning,” she said, referring to the lack of smoke in the air. “It doesn’t mean the firefight is over. Crews are still going to be engaged, and there’s a lot of work left to do.”

The fire has been officially mapped at 80 acres and is zero percent contained, according to Utah Fire Info. The state’s original estimate was 200 acres.

“Crews did make great progress yesterday,” she said at a Friday morning press briefing. “They were able to get retardant around almost the entire perimeter of the fire.”

Firefighting efforts are continuing Friday and will include air support.

Authorities closed I-80 through Parley’s Canyon from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday.

Webb said the aircraft being used to battle the fire will be flying over the highway, and I-80 will be closed because it could pose a hazard to drivers.

“And also just to provide for the safety of all the firefighters working right on the highway and travel access in and out of the fire area,” she said. “… We’re really wanting people to think about alternate travel routes.”

I-80 will be closed from Foothill Drive and I-215 to Parley’s Summit. Webb said the best alternate routes will be Provo Canyon and Highway 84.

The evacuation center has been closed due to lack of need. Anyone who has been evacuated and needs assistance is asked to call Red Cross directly at 1-800-RED CROSS

Anyone with information about the dump trump is asked to contact investigators at 801-538-5555.

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Authorities: Dump Truck Dragging Chains Likely Sparked Parley’s Fire