WILDFIRES

Wildfire zone briefly opened to residents to check on homes

Jul 5, 2018, 5:58 PM | Updated: 9:15 pm
...

FRUITLAND, Utah – Hundreds of people chased out of their homes by the Dollar Ridge Fire still did not know whether their homes and cabins were still standing.

Thursday morning, for just two hours, some homeowners had a chance to check on their properties and gather up a few more belongings.

For the past couple of days, people forced to evacuate their homes have watched the massive fire sweep over their mountain neighborhoods. They wondered about their homes and cabins and hoped for the best. While fire officials have reported as many as 90 homes have been lost, other homeowners got some relief.

“It was right on this ridge and coming down over. We had ash come in the yard,“ said Michelle Haddow.

When Haddow and Sandy Slaymaker left their home three days ago, the fire was headed their way. They’ve been camping at the evacuation center ever since.

“We watched one night and it just looks like a war zone,” she said. “Hotspots, black. I mean, it was horrible.“

Thursday they discovered their home has not been damaged, yet.

“Our mountains aren’t going to be the same for a long time, but this is our home. This is what we love this is why we live here,“ she said.

Several of their neighbors weren’t so lucky. They lost their homes.

“It’s heartbreaking,“ said Haddow.

Property owners were allowed to check in with deputies from the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office at a rest stop on U.S. Highway 40, check on their properties, and check out as they left.

They had to be out by 1 p.m., when the winds generally pick up and fan the fire.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,“ said Mark George, who has spent a lot of time in this part of the state.

“I have never seen such a vicious violent fire anywhere, on TV, or anywhere in my life,“ he said.

He and his wife have a second home south of Fruitland, and had planned to spend the week until the fire started to threaten their home when it started on Sunday. They spent a nervous night watching the fire creep closer.

“At about 12:30 p.m. Monday, we saw the fire come up over the ridge a few miles west of us,“ George said.

He said they packed up essentials and readied their home for fire. Shortly after that, they were escorted out by a couple of sheriff’s deputies.

“If we had been in there another hour we may have gotten trapped,“ he said.

Fire swept through that area, he said. He still did not know if his home was standing, because he arrived too late Thursday to go in and check on it.

Brody Chadwick of Bluebell was surprised to discover his family’s cabin still standing after watching the fire burn to the edge of the property on Tuesday.

“It was just completely black with clouds rolling through. It wasn’t good,” he said.

He feared his cabin was gone. After seeing it was fine, he feared for his neighbors.

“That’s just our cabin,” said Chadwick. “That’s not our home. My grandpa built it from the bottom up. Everybody that’s lost everything on that mountainside – that’s not good.”

Nobody KSL spoke with had lost their home, but deputies were only allowing people into areas that were considered safe.

Other people jumped in their trucks on the Wasatch Front and raced up U.S. 40 when they saw the posting on the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, saying the area would be opened briefly. By the time they got there, it was too late for some of them to go in. That was frustrating for those people. Some said they will try again Friday.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Wildfires

FILE: Crews drop fire retardant on the Jacob City Fire on July 9. (UWCNF)...
Michael Houck

Charges dropped against man who allegedly started Jacob City Fire

Tooele county attorneys have dropped the charges against the man who allegedly started a 4,000-acre wildfire over the summer. 
12 days ago
The Rainbow Fire near Ogden Canyon on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. The fire forced evacuations. (Chopper...
Madison Swenson

Human-caused wildfires decrease in Utah for second year

Gov. Spencer Cox is thanking Utahns for using their fire sense after the state recorded a drop in human-caused wildfires for the second year in a row.
24 days ago
helicopter power poles...
Jed Boal

Millcreek Canyon to reopen after 100 power poles removed for wildfire prevention

Millcreek Canyon has been closed to the public for two days as Rocky Mountain Power wraps up a project to reduce wildfire risk.
1 month ago
Several agencies will be working in Parley's Canyon to clear fuel for a potential wildfire that wou...
Tamara Vaifanua

Work to begin on clearing forest fire fuel from Parleys Canyon

Fuel reduction projects will begin this week at Parleys Canyon.
2 months ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

Human-caused wildfires went from 893 to 450 in two years

The last two wildfire seasons in Utah show signs progress of reducing the number of human-caused fires.
2 months ago
(Uinta-Wasatch-Cache NF/Twitter)...
Cary Schwanitz

South Fork fire 50% contained

Fire managers said the South Fork Fire burning in Provo Canyon south of Vivian Park was 50% contained Tuesday.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Wildfire zone briefly opened to residents to check on homes