The fire started near the Great Salt Lake Marina off of Interstate 80, officials said.
Great Salt Lake State Park and Marina were temporarily closed Friday afternoon due to a wildfire and related power outages, according to park officials.
The Lakeshore Fire in Tooele County began burning near mile marker 100 on Interstate 80, a few miles west of the Great Saltair.
East of the Lakeshore Fire, the separate Lone Fire spanned 100 acres and burned into the Lakeshore Fire. As of 4 p.m. Friday, the Lakeshore Fire had burned an estimated 380 acres, the Utah Bureau of Land Management reported.
Officials confirmed at least three fires of unknown cause along Interstate 80 between Lake Point and the Interstate 80-State Road 102 interchange as of 4 p.m. on Friday.
With air resources grounded Friday afternoon due to high winds, authorities were responding with engines, water tenders and hand crews.
Power lines in the area were shut off, the Union Pacific Railroad shut down and Interstate 80 and State Road 102 were temporarily closed. Salt Lake City International Airport’s operations were not affected.
Wind causing critical fire conditions
The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning across most of the state Friday until 10 p.m. on Saturday and a high wind advisory until 10 p.m. Friday.
The blustery winds — paired with a relative humidity of 5-10% — created critical fire weather conditions in which blazes can spread rapidly, the agency advised.
Kayli Yardley, a fire prevention specialist with the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, told The Salt Lake Tribune that fires have been popping up across the state.
“What might have been a tiny spark is now becoming acres and acres of wildfire,” Yardley said, as a result of the dryness and erratic winds. “We don’t call it fire season anymore. It’s our fire year.”
Second fire sparks in Salt Lake County
At least one other fire sparked in northern Utah on Friday afternoon. According to Utah Wildfire Info, the Barney Wash Fire burned about 40 acres in western Salt Lake County, near Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Copper Mine.
Responding fire crews there also largely worked from the ground due to grounded air resources. But by 3 p.m., several crews began being released from the scene, indicating that the fire had been somewhat contained, officials said.
A spokesperson for Rio Tinto confirmed that bush fires occurred near the mine and that local police and the Unified Fire Authority had responded to the blaze.
“There are no current threats to people and the cause of the fires remains unknown at this time,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the situation until the fires are extinguished and the sites secured.”