City officials declare local emergency in response to Knolls Fire
Saratoga Springs Mayor Jim Miller and the city council held an emergency meeting Sunday and unanimously voted to issue a declaration of local emergency in response to the Knolls Fire.
A local emergency is defined as a condition that requires emergency assistance to save lives and protect property in response to a disaster, according to Utah Code.
The city recognizes that given the high temperatures and winds the fire conditions have the potential to get worse and require immediate action.
All areas south of the Pony Express, including all neighborhoods bordering the foothills, Pelican Bay, Lake Mountain, Fox Hollow, Jacobs Ranch, Stillwater, Summerhill, and Benches have been identified as areas particularly affected by the fire.
“City resources are taxed beyond their capacity to adequately respond to this disaster, evacuations and travel restrictions are necessary to protect the life and safety of city residents,” read the declaration. “These conditions create a ‘State of Local Emergency,’ according to the Utah Code, and this declaration is justified due to the proximity of homes and structures in this area.”
Assistant City Manager Owen Jackson said police, with the assistance from other agencies, are patrolling areas they have access to protect neighborhoods from looting.
The order gives Fire Chief Robert Williams and City Manager Mark Christensen more control to add or ease restrictions for both fire and flood mitigation.
City officials said multiple fire departments, surrounding cities and even Sen. Mitt Romney have reached out to offer their support.
Any travel south of Harbor Parkway on Redwood Road is prohibited, per the declaration.
“It looks like the entire mountain is on fire right now,” said City Attorney Kevin Thurman.
Jackson said the fire is currently moving west, up the mountain and threatening the city’s communication tower.
— Jen Riess, KSL.com