Utah wildfire destroys homes, prompts hundreds to evacuate

Occupants of more than 400 homes fled but no injuries were reported, according to Lt. Dave Edwards, with the police in the city of Bountiful.

Fire crews head up East Pages Lane as a fire burns on the hill East of Centerville, Utah early Friday. (Photo: AP

Firefighters battled a wildfire on Friday that had burned three homes, heavily damaged five more and prompted the evacuation of hundreds of people in two Salt Lake City suburbs.

Occupants of more than 400 homes fled but no injuries were reported, according to Lt. Dave Edwards, with the police in the city of Bountiful.

The fire started at about 1 am during a thunderstorm and its cause was under investigation.

Strong winds blowing down from mountains helped spread the rapidly moving fire into residential neighborhoods, said Paul Child, the police chief in the neighboring city of Centerville, where people were also evacuated but later allowed home.

The fire was not contained as of Friday morning and had burned between 150 and 300 acres (60 to 120 hectares, said Kim Osborn, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman.

Officials hoped to start containing the fire before higher temperatures expected later Friday could help the fire spread.