SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — Firefighters battling the Parleys Canyon Fire welcomed cooler temperatures and minimal winds Sunday as the human-caused wildfire continued to burn just off Interstate 80 near Park City.
PHOTO GALLERY: Large wildfire burning in Parleys Canyon
The fire was started Saturday afternoon by a vehicle's catalytic converter malfunctioning, which emitted sparks along the freeway. The area where the fire started was about seven miles west of the Park City exit. It grew rapidly Saturday afternoon, emitting plumes of smoke visible all the way from the Salt Lake Valley and even the Oquirrh Mountains.
The fire was 10 percent contained and covers 539 acres.
Officials said crews "made great progress" on the fire Sunday, and they saw only "moderate fire behavior."
No structures have been destroyed in the fire.
More than 6,000 homes in the Summit Park, Pine Brook and Lambs Canyon areas remain evacuated as a precautionary measure.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office originally said evacuated residents should plan to be away from their homes for 24 to 48 hours. They later pushed that to as late as Tuesday morning.
"For public and firefighter safety, we're going to keep the people out until it is safe to do so," Sierra Hellstrom with the Northern Interagency Management team said Sunday.
The American Red Cross of Utah has set up an evacuation shelter at Park City High School.
The upper portion of Mill Creek Canyon was also closed at the "winter gate," and hikers were being evacuated from that area Saturday evening. No evacuations are in place for the city of Millcreek, however, officials clarified.
Jordanelle State Park and Little Dell Recreation Area are both closed Sunday so airplanes and helicopters can gather water from the reservoirs. Jordanelle will remain closed Monday, state park officials announced Sunday night.
The reservoir is closed to the public today for firefighting operations.
— 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐧𝐞𝐞 (@brian_schnee) August 15, 2021
As of Sunday morning, there were 120 firefighters on the scene as the Northern Utah Type 3 Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire.
Relief crews from Draper and South Davis Metro Fire Agency were seen arriving to assist firefighters who have been fighting the blaze since Saturday afternoon.
Fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter support will continue to fight the wildfire, but teams on the ground are expected to make the biggest difference Sunday.
"The crews on the ground are going to be the ones that are going to start to make some progress and hopefully start to get some actionable areas that we can create some fire breaks before this fire moves up into the area," said Hellstrom.
Watch below: Fire official Sierra Hellstrom gives an update on the Parleys Canyon Fire Sunday morning
The Utah Department of Transportation advised drivers of partial closures and major delays in the area Saturday. By Sunday, no major delays were apparent. The public is also asked to avoid the area as much as possible to allow for fire personnel access.
Power lines were threatened Saturday afternoon, and around 2,500 homes were without power at one point. All had been restored by Saturday evening.
We have been extremely blessed and lucky this fire season—but this one is big and dangerous. Please be careful and follow evacuation orders. Praying for the safety of our firefighters as the work to protect homes and lives. https://t.co/IxbmKl1EaC— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) August 14, 2021
Deer Valley Resort was hosting a concert by the Indigo Girls Saturday night, but announced that it has been postponed due to the fire and the responding emergency crews.
This article will be updated as the situation develops.