A wildfire, apparently sparked by lightening, near a mountain resort town in eastern Utah, has destroyed at least a dozen houses and has forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents, Gov. Gary Herbert, told the Associated Press, late on Tuesday.
The houses, which were primary residences in the Lake Rockport Estates, a community located on the west side of Rockport Lake about 45 miles east of Salt Lake City, and property including sheds, vehicles and boats were gutted in the fast-moving blaze named the Rockport 5 fire.
"We can confirm now there are 12 residences that have been burned, another approximately 15 other structures, outbuildings, some vehicles, and a couple of boats," Herbert said, according to Deseret News. "It's been a fast moving fire, but I want to emphasize how fast the response has been."
So far, there had been no reports of loss of life or injuries from the fire that has now spread to 4,000 acres, Herbert added.
The fire is just 5 percent contained despite the efforts of the firefighting team who were trying to control the blaze that spread at the rate of 50 feet to 80 feet a minute, Deseret News reported, quoting Steve Rutter, fire management officer of the state's northeastern region.
Hundreds of residents in the affected area have been ordered to evacuate as the flames threatened to reach another 250 houses.
"We still have a large threat to a number of homes we can't ignore," Rutter told Deseret News. "There are 250 homes that are still actively, imminently threatened. … It's not over tonight; it's not going to be over tomorrow."
About 175 firefighters were battling the fire and three helicopters, three air tankers and two fire-retardant drops from a DC-10 were used, the governor said. The number of firefighters will be increased to 250 and two Blackhawk helicopters will be deployed to fight the fire on Wednesday, the governor added.