Fire destroys three structures in Duchesne County

Jun 27, 2018, 11:23 PM | Updated: Jun 28, 2018, 1:07 am

FRUITLAND, Utah – A fire in Fruitland destroyed a shed and then spread to two homes Wednesday, according to the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office.

“I don’t know how that house is not on fire. We thought this was all gone. The flames were just, it was like a scene from hell,” said Raeghan Cutler, who lives just down the road from the fire.

The sheriff’s office believes someone was living in just one of the homes.

“I mean you see this. You try not to be ‘Chicken Little.’ You know ‘the sky is falling,’ but it’s so extremely dangerous out here. We got no snow this year,” Cutler said.

She said it was just this weekend that community members met to discuss the fire danger and make a plan for the area.

“We’re so far from everything that we have to help them and they will drop everything,” said Cutler, who is so thankful for the firefighters who risk their lives on the community’s behalf.

At the peak of the fire, which began Wednesday afternoon, officials say there were about 40 firefighters working to stop the fire from spreading.

“From Fruitland to Duchesne, there’s a lot of dry vegetation out here and a lot of fuel in these areas,” said Mike Lefler, the director of Duchesne County Emergency Management, who was managing Wednesday’s fire scene.

While he says local fire councils and community members have worked to mitigate some of the issues, the windy weather conditions didn’t help either.

“Things are burning hard. They’re going hard when they get started and we really caution if you see a fire, if there’s a fire going — report it as quick as you can,” said Lefler.

According to Utah wildfire officials on Twitter, the fire burned about 10 acres.

“Yeah, it was moving fast, but we come in and everything’s calculated. A lot of folks have been doing this for their lifetime. We go in there and we know we have a job to do and we know exactly what we’re doing,” said Shayne Ward, with Utah’s Division of Forestry, Fire and Statelands, who was working the fire line.

As of dusk, firefighters had a good handle on it. We’re told it was about 75 percent contained as of 9:30 p.m.

Residents are reflecting on the fire damage, something they anxiously hoped to avoid this fire season.

“I watched them drive into that smoke and I think, ‘I can’t see. How are they seeing?’ And these are our community guys,” said Cutler about the firefighters.

She said community members are already chatting on Facebook about how to help the victim.

The Red Cross was also called in to give assistance.

Investigators continue to look into what caused the fire.

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Fire destroys three structures in Duchesne County