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‘Francis Fire’ breaks out above Kaysville

A mountain wildfire, dubbed the “Francis Fire,” broke out above Fruit Heights and Kaysville Monday afternoon, and has burned at least 50 acres.

Billowing smoke traveled up the Wasatch Front, visible from Ogden. The Fruit Heights Park and Ride UTA bus stop was filled with locals watching the flames.

Fire-fighting helicopters flew overhead, and emergency sirens sounded from every main road. Weber State University students getting off the bus wondered if they could even return to their homes.

The "Francis Fire" broke out above Kaysville on Sept. 16. (Caitlyn Larson)

Local spectator, Cary Wood, said that a small column of smoke appeared in the area of Bair Canyon around 3 p.m. The strong winds soon pushed it quickly north, and by 3:30 p.m. the fire was reported to have grown 50 acres, and still increasing.

Layton City officials asked everyone in Adams Canyon to evacuate, due to the northbound path of the fire. Search and Rescue was also sent in to retrieve any hikers unaware of the notice.

Officials of the Davis County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation of the homes in the area of Adams Canyon and the Davis County Animal Shelter. At 4 p.m. the notice was rescinded, marking the evacuation as unnecessary, for the time being. The Davis County Animal shelter reported that they had not evacuated, but had made all of the preparations necessary to evacuate all animals and personnel if needed.

Drivers have been asked to avoid Highway 89 between Fruit Heights and Layton. The Fruit Heights Park and Ride has been closed to make room for fire officials, and UTA bus routes in the area have been temporarily rerouted.

The meetinghouse of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on upper 200 North in Kaysville was made available for those who want to evacuate.

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