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Resident digging with backhoe sparks field fire in Herriman

HERRIMAN — A resident digging with a backhoe sparked a field fire Wednesday that forced evacuations for several homes.

The blaze that began about 3 p.m. is burning 3 acres, Unified fire officials said, and had destroyed a few "outbuildings." Crews were expected to remain on scene overnight to keep the fire from moving.

The fire started when the backhoe hit a power box, causing sparks, Unified fire reported.

As the flames spread, officials asked residents of Rose Canyon Road above Majestic Oaks Lane to evacuate while firefighters battled the blaze. That evacuation order was scheduled to be lifted by 9 p.m.

Students at Butterfield Canyon Elementary who live in the High Country 2 area were kept at school until their parents or emergency contacts could pick them up. The Red Cross set up a place at the school, 6860 Mary Leizan Lane, for residents to go while displaced from their homes.

Cove Pond was closed to the public while firefighters draw water from it, city officials said.

Late Wednesday afternoon, city officials said the fire was burning in the Step Mountain area and firefighters were "starting to get a handle" on it as it moved "slowly down the back side away from Herriman."

Wednesday evening, firefighters were securing the edge of the blaze and "tackling 65 percent" of it, city officials said.

Meanwhile, the Pole Creek Fire in the Mount Nebo Loop area, which was sparked by lightning on Sept. 6, flared up to 400 acres Wednesday "due to warm, dry and windy conditions," fire officials reported. Officials did not report how much of the fire is contained.

Late Wednesday night, officials said residents of homes along Nebo Creek Road to the junction of U.S. 89 need to evacuate because of the blaze.

The fire is expected to continue growing over the next several days and large plumes of smoke will be visible. Drivers along the Nebo Loop were urged not to stop.