Residents return home after Patch Springs Fire

Posted at 9:59 PM, Aug 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-17 23:59:37-04

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah – Homeowners in Tooele County are picking up the pieces after a fire devastated a mobile home park in Willow Springs.

The 31,000-acre Patch Springs Fire is still burning, but it is no longer posing a significant threat to homes officials said Saturday.

Teresa Rigby, Bureau of Land Management fire information officer, said the terrain has hampered their efforts to extinguish the fire.

“The fire itself is in really steep terrain up on the mountain,” Rigby said. “Unless we had all the resources in the world we are really limited sometimes in what we can do.”

Red flag warning conditions have been in effect for days, and the possibility of relief from storms also carries the risk of more trouble.

“Crews continue to work the fire to make sure it's put out,” Rigby said. “The weather is going to be the wild card here today.”

Homeowners in Willow Springs were told they could return home Friday, but it could be days before the power is turned back on. The fire burned about half of the trailers in the mobile home park.

Rigby said the hot conditions and jagged terrain have proven dangerous as they continue to fight the blaze.

“Our firefighters have been challenged,” she said. “We did have three dehydration, heat related illnesses. We take that very seriously. And have dealt with that before in Utah, and we are very tuned in to that.”

Fire crews expected additional resources to be diverted to the Patch Springs Fire throughout the weekend.