Herriman wildfire destroys two member homes

A visit to this burgeoning community in the southwest corner of the Salt Lake Valley offers a sobering glimpse of the size of the wildfire in the hills above Herriman. One can see the wide path of a blaze that blackened 4,300 acres, torched the homes of two member families and forced the evacuation of thousands.

The wildfire broke out Sept. 19 about 3:30 p.m. on the neighboring Camp Williams Army Base property during a Utah National Guard training exercise involving machine gun fire. A combination of high winds and the dry conditions quickly fueled the blaze, threatening homes in the city's Cove Subdivision and Herriman Heights neighborhoods. Originally settled by Mormon pioneers in the 19th-century, the Herriman community has experienced dramatic growth in the past decade and homes dot the landscape along that southern stretch of the Oquirrh Mountain range.

By Sunday evening the fire had crested and was starting down the hill toward residential developments. Some 1,400 homes were evacuated as worried residents sought shelter with friends, family or in camping trailers. Many folks living in homes near the encroaching fire line were given only 15 minutes to evacuate.

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