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School Activities Canceled Due To Smoke, Evacuations

SPANISH FORK, Utah – More than 15 percent of students in the Nebo School District were out of class Friday as wildfires forced evacuations. Several after-school events were also canceled.

The Pole Creek and Bald Mountain Fires have burned more than 68,000 acres in Utah County. More than 5,000 people in Elk Ridge and Woodland Hills had to leave their homes Thursday nights as officials evacuated the towns.

“We were up so late last night. They were crying. It was scary. You could lose everything,” said Tricia Thomas.

Thomas, her four kids, and their dog and cat were staying with her sister in Spanish Fork. She spent Thursday night getting valuables out of her home and her parents’ homes as the fire burned closer.

She said the Salem Hills High School football team went door-to-door in her neighborhood seeing who needed help getting their belongings loaded up.

Officials with the Nebo School District said they would excuse absences for students who had to evacuate.

Several football games, soccer games, and cross-country meets across the district were canceled as smoky air enveloped the area.

In Juab County, Dominion Energy shut off the natural gas supply to several communities. The Juab School District assistant superintendent said their schools still had enough natural gas pressure in their lines to operate for a few days.

There was no indication when people may get to go back to their homes. Tricia Thomas was hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

“We packed enough for a week, so if we have to be gone that long, we’re okay,” she said.

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