KSL given exclusive access to burned areas in Dollar Ridge Fire
FRUITLAND, Utah – No matter how many firefighters have been working in the air or from the ground, for some homes it was already too late.
The combination of dry weather and winds have caused challenges for crews on the Dollar Ridge Fire in the Uintah Basin.
“The weather conditions we’ve had have certainly been the largest story with this fire,” said incident spokesperson Donald Jaques.
Some wind gusts have been measured at 40 to 50 miles an hour, which swept into the Strawberry Pinnacles and Camelot Resort area.
That fire burned several homes and property.
“You’re concerned about the individuals that are there. This is my community,” said Jaques. “I know some of these individuals who live in this area, so it certainly hits home.”
Jaques was part of an escort with Duchesne County Fire Warden Nathan Robinson to take KSL into some of the evacuated areas.
It gave us a chance to see firsthand what the fire did, as well as take some pictures and video to let homeowners know the area looks like.
There was a thick haze of smoke in many areas, giving many areas along Lower Red Creek Road a sort of eerie feeling.
Most of the homes along the road were still standing.
We also saw wildlife walking around, including several rabbits and deer, looking lost.
Plus, with the entire area evacuated, there wasn’t much noise.
Firefighters said many of the homes still standing were okay because of defensible space.
Homeowners took the time to reduce fire fuels and combustibles around their homes, making it tougher for a fire to burn right up to the house and easier for firefighters to defend.
“It can really make the difference of your home surviving or not,” said Jaques.
However, the reality is, it’s going to time quite some time for the area to look like normal again.
For homeowners getting bad news about their cabins, it’s also now just a matter of when it’s safe enough to get back in and see it for themselves.
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