SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – Salt Lake City firefighters responded to a fire in the residential area behind the Utah State Capitol Tuesday afternoon.
Fire officials said they got a call about a small grass fire just north of the Capitol near the Ensign Peak Trailhead around 3 p.m. It was immediately declared as a three-alarm fire.
The fire has burned about 100 acres in the Ensign Peak residential area. Crews quickly called in support from the Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, and American Red Cross.
Homes in areas immediately at-risk were evacuated. Firefighters went door-to-door to alert residents.
Three firefighters suffered minor injuries in the incident. Two endured heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation, and the third sustained a minor leg injury (not burn-related). All three firefighters were transported to University of Utah Hospital, and released to recuperate at home.
Two civilians also reportedly suffered smoke inhalation. Their names and conditions were not released.
Officials called the fire “potentially devastating” as it burned dangerously close to homes.
Officials have not determined how the fire started, but they do remind the public that fireworks are banned in the area and many fire restrictions are currently in place due to hot and dry conditions.
“If people could just be very, very mindful of those things then we could all really help each other out to make sure our community is safe,” said Audra Sorensen Salt Lake City Fire Department spokesperson.
Crews battled a fire in the same area last month. Fire officials described the area as “high-risk.” They said each spring they talk to residents about defensible space and fire prevention.
Salt Lake City Fire Department said just this year City Council approved its purchase of portable water tanks or “pumpkin tanks” to fight wildfires. This was the first incident where they were used.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski said she will be joining SLC Fire Chief Karl Lieb to tour the area damaged by the Ensign Peak Fire Wednesday morning. “The importance of a 30-foot buffer between structures and shrubs in the urban-wildlands interface will be top of mind,” said Biskupski.