Utah homes dominoes: wildfires menace US West.
A fast-moving brush fire destroyed eight homes in the Utah tourist town of Moab, while more than 3,000 people in Colorado and Wyoming fled multiple wildfires scorching the drought-stricken U.S. West on Wednesday.
The blaze in Moab, known for its dramatic red rocks, started in a wooded area Tuesday night and quickly spread to homes over less than a square mile, Police Chief Jim Winder said. Crews were extinguishing embers Wednesday.
Moab residents Tim Clark and his girlfriend Tina Saunders grabbed their dogs, family photos and a laptop, evacuating with their home in flames.
“Those houses just started going like dominoes,” Clark told the Salt Lake Tribune. “Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!”
Police said the early investigation has ruled out natural causes for the blaze that ignited near a creek that is frequently used as a walkway in a largely blue-collar neighborhood. It was not near the tourist-heavy areas in the town known for its proximity to Arches and Canyonlands national parks.
Moab resident Shane Tangren told the newspaper that he arrived home from work Tuesday evening to find flames nearby. He was trying to protect the house he’s lived in since he was 16 by wetting it down, but the wind shifted and sent the flames barreling right toward him. He fled.
“I sat there and watched it burn to the ground,” Tangren, 55, told the newspaper. “Everything — photographs, birth certificates, memories — it’s all gone. My first car — that was a 1970 (Pontiac) GTO. Up in flames. I bought it when I was 15.”