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UPDATE: Brush fire near State Capitol threatens structures, injures 3 firefighters

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Brush fire near 690 N. Columbus behind the State Capitol is threatening structures. (Photo: UDOT)

(KUTV) -- A brush fire near 690 N. Columbus behind the Utah State Capitol threatened structures, which began at approximately 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

It was a close call for homeowners along Edgecombe Road as the flames came just feet from their homes. The fire reportedly started at the head of Ensign Peak Trail.

The fire spread quickly, prompting Salt Lake City Fire Command officers to declare a 3-Alarm fire within 15 minutes after arriving on scene, a press release stated.

People in the neighborhood feel incredibly fortunate. For the most part, only fences and yards burned.

“My backyard was completely covered in smoke. I couldn’t see anything,” Alex Robinson said.

Fire crews battled the blaze with portable water tanks to extinguish the fire, called the Ensign Peak fire. It was 90 percent contained by 5:20 p.m.

Three firefighters and two civilians were confirmed hurt, according to Salt Lake City Fire.

Among the firefighters injured, two endured heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation and the third sustained a minor leg injury, which was not burn related.

They were transported and treated at University Hospital, treated and released, the media alert said.

Mayor Jackie Biskupski offered her gratitude in a social media tweet saying, "Thank you @slcfire for keeping our City safe."

Biskupski is expected to visit the scene early Wednesday morning with SLC Fire Chief Karl Lieb and other fire officials to assess the damage.

While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, what is know is that firefighters combated the blaze from the ground and airwith a helicopter dropping water to dowse the flames.

The public was asked to avoid the area to ensure containment and safety of the neighborhood impacted. However, one home did sustain exterior damage from the fire estimated to have charred 100 acres.

"The fire came up from victory road and started to move up the canyon," Ali Vallarta told 2News. "We saw orange flames sneaking towards the house. I mean it’s fire; the grass is dry it (and the fire) moves quickly."

She added, "It’s scary, it looks far away but everyone just be cautious. When in doubt, just get out. You know it’s not worth it. Grab your passport and hit the road."

Agencies involved in battling the fire included the Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service and American Red Cross.

Salt Lake City Police and Salt Lake City Emergency Management also implemented the city's emergency-response strategy, the release stated.

Between 50 and 60 firefighters fought the fire that was under control in less than three hours.

A video time lapse of the fire is below along with an album of social media coverage.



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