LEHI, Utah (ABC4 News) – On Saturday June 27, Northern Lehi residents were struck with an alarming blaze that could have claimed dozens of homes. The Traverse Fire began at around 11:30 p.m that Saturday night, the fire was started by fireworks being discharged during a restricted time.
The fire ultimately burned over 450 acres and has since been 100% contained, evacuations were issued for homes in both Lehi and Draper neighborhoods where flames came dangerously close to the residents front doors.
Thursday, July 9th, community members and officials gathered at Canyon Hills soccer field in Lehi to show gratitude to those first responders who worked tirelessly to battle the flames and keep homes from burning
The Lassen family who resides on Autumn Hills, where the fire was burning right in their backyard. The family recalls the scary incident by sharing that they only had about 20 minutes to gather important documents and evacuate their home. “It’s humbling to see the power of the fire and the smoke, it’s even more humbling to know that we have men and women in community who spend their career training for these incidents. Thank you for putting your lives in jeopardy for us.”
For some families and children, while the experience was scary and exciting.”There’s a saying that true heroes run into danger when everyone else runs away” recounts the Barker family witnessing what was the most terrifying scene of those huge flames coming down the hill with high winds blowing directly towards a neighborhood full of homes.
After almost two weeks since the fire, the Traverse Mountain community is overwhelmed by the heroic efforts of the first responders and still processing everything that happened in realizing just how many homes were almost lost. Whitney Thomas, Lehi, Canyon Hills resident organized Thursday’s parade. Thomas’s home was significantly close to the fire line. “It’s humbling to see the aerial view of our neighborhood, and that completely burned hill, knowing it’s of first responders that our neighborhood was saved,” said Thomas.
Many have already donated funds, meals, and more to show their appreciation. This gathering is one final way for the community to show their gratitude in unison.
Whitney Thomas says while the first responders deserve the praise, they didn’t want to be recognized with the celebration. “When we first reached out and asked them to attend this parade, they didn’t really want the attention, but that’s why they’re deserving of it.
The Traverse Fire required a mass amount of support to battle the flames, crews from nearby counties showed up and assisted the Lehi Fire Department with containing the Traverse Fire, those departments were invited to Thursday’s parade as a lot of people showed up for the Lehi community that Saturday night into Sunday morning.
Thursday’s parade and ceremony also featured a presentation of cards, gifts, and the announcement of several fundraisers that have been organized as a thank you to brave men and women who fought the catastrophic fire.