Fire in Moab forces evacuations, destroys 8 homes, other structures

File photo: Gephardt Daily

MOAB, Utah, June 13, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A fire in Moab destroyed several homes Tuesday night and forced the evacuation of residents who were in the path of the swiftly moving flames.

According to a news release from the Moab City Police Department, a brush fire threatening structures was reported to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center at about 5:50 p.m.

Responders from the sheriff’s office, Moab PD, Moab Valley Fire Department and Grand County Emergency Medical Services found a large fire in a wooded area west of the Cinema Court apartment complex.

Residents in the area were immediately evacuated, and firefighters began protection and suppression efforts, the release says.

A command post was set up, and law enforcement and fire agencies throughout southeast Utah responded to assist.

“Despite the tremendous efforts of firefighters, early reports indicate that eight homes, two parking canopies and one garage were destroyed by the fire,” the release continues.

The flames were wind-driven and fed by dry grass and cottonwood trees in the area.

Several firefighters and civilians were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and/or heat exhaustion, but no other injuries were reported.

Residents were without power for several hours, Rocky Mountain Power reported.

By 10 p.m., some residents were being allowed to return to their homes. Many areas were still restricted as responders worked to eliminate hot spots.

At 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Cinema Court Apartments were open, but officials advised residents to continue to avoid the area for the rest of the night because of the lingering heavy smoke.

Evacuation centers have been set up at the Gravel Pit Lanes bowling alley, at 1078 Mill Creek Drive, and the Grand Center, at 182 N. 500 West. It also was reported that at least two area hotel/motels had offered to accommodate residents displaced by the fire.

The cause of the fire is not known at this time, and is under investigation by the sheriff’s office, with other agencies assisting.

Anyone who may have seen something or who has any information relating to this fire is asked to contact the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.

Gephardt Daily will update this story as more information becomes available.

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