LOCAL NEWS

I-80 fire is 100% contained, dubbed the ‘Wiley Post Fire’

Jun 19, 2022, 6:47 PM | Updated: 11:12 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City Fire is investigating the cause of two wildland fires that caused two highways and a railway to shut down Sunday afternoon.

The “Wiley Post Fire” sparked south of I-80 near the Wright Brothers Drive exit southwest of the Salt Lake City International Airport.

The fire grew to 200 acres.

Around the same time, another small five-acre fire popped up within the eyesight of the first fire. That fire burned along 5600 West near 1100 South and was quickly controlled.

Salt Lake City Fire Captain Rob Stafford said crews battled extremely high winds and low visibility when a passerby reported the Wiley Post Fire on I-80.

Both directions of I-80 and Bangerter Highway around I-80 shut down. Westbound I-80 reopened, while eastbound remained closed until 6 pm.

Capt. Stafford described how they had to notify Utah Highway Patrol, Union Pacific Railway, and the airport on top of fighting the fast-moving flames.

“You combine two major highways and a railway, and air traffic coming over the top– it’s a significant hazard,” he said.

A few flights from the Salt Lake International Airport were delayed because of the smoke, but none were canceled, said airport spokesperson Nancy Volmer.

Stafford explained that firefighters realized the impact wasn’t just to the roadways and sky.

“We were extremely concerned, we also had an encampment that was involved, and so we had some civilians that we had to try to move out that way,” he said. “So, we had quite a few civilian hazards in addition to the fire, and the wind didn’t help anything.”

One person from that encampment suffered smoke inhalation, he explained. They were transported to a local hospital and are expected to recover.

The cause of both blazes is still under investigation, he said.

Utah Highway Patrol initially reported a transformer explosion caused the Wiley Post Fire, but Rocky Mountain Power clarified that a transformer didn’t explode, and their lines didn’t experience any fuses blown either.

They confirmed a power outage in the same area at the same time as the fire.

RMP is working with fire investigators.

No buildings or structures were threatened, and Sunday evening Stafford said the fire was 100% contained.

 

 

 

 

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I-80 fire is 100% contained, dubbed the ‘Wiley Post Fire’