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Grass fire shuts down parts of I-215 in Salt Lake City

Posted at 10:28 AM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 17:01:59-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A 2-alarm grass fire shut down parts of Interstate 215 in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.

The Utah Highway Patrol said the ramp from I-215 southbound to SR-201 westbound is closed due to the fire which broke out just after 10 a.m.

The ramp was opened momentarily before the area began smoldering again, forcing another closure. UDOT estimates the closure will last until about 4:30 p.m.

Fire officials said the blaze began as a brush fire that quickly spread to some nearby plastic material, causing a huge plume of black smoke that spread over the Salt Lake Valley.

I-215 Grass Fire
People watch as grass fire burns along I-215 in Salt Lake City

Video and photos from the fire scene showed flames burning between the highway and businesses about 40 yards away. No structures were damaged during the fire and no one was injured.

According to fire officials on the scene, conditions were ripe for a fire to break out.

"We have talked in the past how these high winds and the heat and the low humidity that we're experiencing, we just came out of that Red Flag Warning over the past five days, so any type of ignition source could have set this off," said Salt Lake City Fire Capt. Shaun Mumedy.

It's not exactly what sparked Wednesday's fire, but Mumedy mentioned anything form vehicles dragging from chains to someone throwing out a cigarette as a possible culprit.

Crews were able to completely douse the fire just before 11 a.m., but the highway remains closed.

Video below from Colby Dolan shows grass fire along highway

Raw video of I-215 grass fire in Salt Lake City

With over two months of summer remaining on the calendar, officials are asking residents to be extra careful and diligent when it comes to fire safety.

"We are going to continue this theme all summer," said Mumedy. "Citizens are going to get tired of it, but we hope eventually it burns in. We are at the beginning of a hot and dry summer. This is a small example of how rapidly a grass fire can spread into an adjacent business into a home. Had this been near a home, you can see how these winds could push a fire into a house."