One Year After Knolls Fire, Saratoga Springs Reminds of Unprecedented Fire Danger

Jul 1, 2021, 7:14 PM | Updated: 7:45 pm

SARATOGA SPRINGS – A year after a fast-moving fire forced the evacuation of a third of the city, Saratoga Springs is warning about extreme fire danger and reminding residents of fireworks restrictions.

“If there were a year that I would absolutely tell people to please reconsider and back off—it’s this year,” Saratoga Springs Fire Chief Jess Campbell said about fireworks.

Campbell said state law does not allow the city to implement a blanket ban on fireworks. Instead, the city has issued the following restrictions:

  • If you live within 75 feet of an undeveloped lot or property in a residential neighborhood or area, ALL fireworks are banned from use in these areas within a 75-foot proximity of such property.
  • If you live within 200 feet of ANY undeveloped and urban interface area; this is any area that is next to the foothills, large areas of undeveloped property, or agriculture fields. ALL fireworks are banned from use in these areas within a 200-foot proximity of such property.

In addition, the fire chief sent out a letter implementing a ban on aerial fireworks for more than 90 streets in the city.

For a full list of restrictions and an interactive map, visit the city website.

“In areas where fireworks are allowed you are strongly encouraged to exercise extreme caution and safety during this time of unprecedented fire danger,” Saratoga Springs said in a Facebook post. “As a reminder all fireworks are banned from all City Parks, city property and open spaces.”

Starting Friday, police officers and firefighters will be patrolling the city and issuing citations for those violating the restrictions.

Campbell said the Knolls Fire from one year ago is still fresh on his mind and serves as a motivation to warn about this year’s fire danger.

“What I clearly understood in the Knolls Fire is that when we have a situation like that we’re not at all in control,” he said. “That was Mother Nature.”

It was Sunday, June 28, 2020 when the quick-moving fire broke out and forced the evacuation of more than 10,000 residents.

“We had constant 40 to 50 mile per hour winds feeding that fire,” Campbell said. “It was one of the fastest fire spreads I’ve ever seen.”

The flames entered backyards, destroyed fences and melted the siding on houses. But at the last moment the winds shifted, saving the homes within city limits. One lake home was destroyed in the fire.

“I don’t have any other adjective but miraculous,” Campbell said about the change in wind direction.

“Truly blessed,” Alex Fenderson said about his home and street being spared at the last minute.

Federson’s home was damaged and required new siding, windows and special interior cleaning to remove the smell of smoke. Even today, he said the fire is always in the back of his mind.

“It crossed this field in like a minute,” he said standing in his backyard during an interview with KSL TV.

He said he was surprised with how quickly the flamed approached.

“I literally hollered at my kids, ‘We got to go now!’ he said. “We were in that car in three seconds—I’m not kidding you—and we just drove.”

Fenderson said the smoke was so thick that he could barely see the road ahead of him as he drove away from his home.

He’s not concerned about the field behind his house this summer because the vegetation hasn’t grown back. He does have a message for other neighborhoods next to dry fields.

“Heed those fire warnings,” he said. “Seriously, you cannot stress them enough.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Real estate firm Brixton Capital announced Monday that a new Target will occupy the former Dillard'...
Cassidy Wixom

Provo will soon be welcoming its 1st full-size Target store

Residents of Provo will soon have another retail therapy resource at their disposal: a brand-new Target.
8 hours ago
Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Shopping for Valentine’s roses? 9 comparisons to help you find the biggest bang for your buck

From online and local florist delivery options to grocery store blooms, KSL’s Matt Gephardt compares the cost and durability of nine different bouquets of a dozen red roses.
1 day ago
Ashley Moser

West Jordan mother in the ICU after being hit by snowmobile while tubing

A Utah mother is recovering in the ICU after she was hit by a snowmobile while tubing over the weekend.
1 day ago
Lauri Markkanen #23 of the Utah Jazz reacts to a basket against the Houston Rockets during the firs...
Kyle Ireland, KSL Sports

Ryan Smith, Utah Jazz honor Lauri Markkanen for NBA All-Star selection

Ryan Smith and the Utah Jazz honored Lauri Markkanen for his first NBA All-Star selection during Utah’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.
1 day ago
Madison Swenson

Boy hospitalized after falling from slide at Rose Springs Elementary

n 8-year-old boy is in critical but stable condition after falling from a slide at Rose Springs Elementary School.
1 day ago
Utah State Prisoin...
Shara Park

Governor, lawmakers to address 3 inmate attacks on guards at Utah prisons

The maximum-security unit at the Utah State Prison remained closed to visitors Monday after an inmate attacked a correctional officer on Saturday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
One Year After Knolls Fire, Saratoga Springs Reminds of Unprecedented Fire Danger