Map showing approximate locations of heat detected on the Rockport Fire at 2:39 p.m. MDT, August 14, 2013 (Photo : wildfiretoday.com/)
More than 250 firefighters managed to contain 25 percent of a Utah wildfire that destroyed 14 homes on Wednesday and threatened hundreds more outside the resort town of Park City.
The lightning-sparked blaze began near a populated area and had grown to 2,000 acres, or nearly 3 square miles, Tuesday afternoon, reports WildfireToday.com. Fire engines and crews were reposition to protect about 250 homes northeast of Park City Wednesday that remain threatened, including some along a golf course in the gated community of Promontory.Firefighters also saved 22 others from burning in the same area, said Summit County district fire warden Bryce Boyer.
However, steady winds and rising temperatures helped fuel the fire Wednesday afternoon, sending large clouds of brownish-black smoke into the sky.
"The winds haven't been helping out with this fire," said Utah fire official Mike Eriksson. "It's definitely growing."
On Thursday, officials braced for another possible flare-up in the blaze near a Utah mountain resort town, reports The Guardian.
Evacuation orders remained in place for a third day, on Thursday as the Rockport fire continued to burn about 10 miles from Park City.
Most of the destroyed houses were year-round residences, said Claudia McMullin, chairwoman of the Summit County council.
"It's very upsetting," she said. "I'm please there is no loss of life and I'm very sad for the loss of property."
Residents have always known wildfires are a threat, she said.
"It's a mountain desert environment and we are the second or third year of a drought," McMullin said. "So we talk about fire all the time.