WILDFIRES

Dollar Ridge Fire burns through 35,000 acres by fourth day

Jul 4, 2018, 7:11 PM | Updated: 9:00 pm

FRUITLAND, Utah – The Dollar Ridge Fire entered its fourth day on Wednesday. An overnight infrared survey showed the fire had grown to 35,000 acres and was just 1 percent contained. A spokesperson for the incident management team said fire activity increased dramatically to the northwest during a hot, dry, windy afternoon.

“There’s less cloud cover today than yesterday, so the sun is doing more warming. We expect the fire to take off a little earlier and burn intensely,” spokesperson Norm Rooker said Wednesday morning.

Firefighters hit the wildfire from the ground and from the air. Helicopters filled buckets in nearby ponds to drop on the flames. Two water-scooper airplanes skimmed the surface of Strawberry Reservoir taking on water for drops as well.

Rooker said floating embers were creating spot fires as far as a mile away from the fire’s edge. In some places, the flames were very close to Highway 40. Late Wednesday evening, officials were considering shutting the highway down.


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Hundreds of people evacuated from various communities in the area. Volunteers were also looking after animals that were taken to a shelter at the Duchesne County Fairgrounds. Volunteers were also helping rescue horses for people who could not transport them.

“I was on Facebook until 10:30 p.m. last night, just reading to see who needed help,” said Christina Kelsey of Desert Springs Equine in Duchesne.

Kelsey, her husband, and their granddaughter spent the day retrieving horses from fields and taking them to the fairgrounds. Some people, she said, would not evacuate unless they knew their animals were safe.

“These people can now worry about more important things – their family,” she said.

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Dollar Ridge Fire burns through 35,000 acres by fourth day