Fire devastation in Tooele County leaves residents shocked

Posted at 7:19 PM, Aug 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-19 21:19:31-04

TOOELE COUNTY -- The Patch Springs Fire in Tooele County may be under control but the shock of the damage it caused is just beginning to set in.

“You aren’t ready for the devastation, said Willow Springs resident Dave Cabrera.

The 31,000-acre blaze was ignited by lightning Aug. 10. Terra residents were evacuated last week and several trailer homes were destroyed.

Cabrera left his home when he saw a wall of fire jump over Highway 199. He watched much of his neighborhood go up in flames.

When Cabrera came back three days later, he said, the neighborhood was unrecognizable.

“It was like Armageddon,” Cabrera said. “The place was just scorched earth. But I was really surprised to see these trailers left.”

Trailers less than 300 feet from Cabrera’s were gone along with everything inside.

Crews are currently working to restore downed power lines.

Incident Commander Tooter Burdick said the blaze mostly burned itself out and is no longer a threat to homes.

“It's still up on the top on the north end of that area on some ledges and rocks,” Burdick said of the wildfire. “The main thing is nobody got hurt. And no fire fighters go hurt. We lost a few structures. “

Cabrera said many people haven’t come home yet – they’re putting off the inevitable as long as they can.