Dollar Ridge Fire Burns Through 47,000 Acres, Highway 40 Reopens
FRUITLAND, Utah – U.S. Highway 40 reopened Friday afternoon, and firefighters worked to stop flames near homes in the Pine Hollow and Aspen Grove areas as the Dollar Ridge Fire burned through 47,000 acres.
As of Friday morning, the fire was 4 percent contained. It has been burning in the area between Strawberry Reservoir and Duchesne since early Sunday afternoon. Helicopters and water-scooper planes flew all day dropping water as flames moved close to homes along the eastern edge of the reservoir.
Firefighters also concentrated on the portion of the fire that crossed U.S. 40. The highway had been closed since the fire first made the jump Wednesday evening. The road reopened at 6 p.m. Friday.
Isolated thunderstorms moved through the area Friday afternoon, giving firefighters some headaches. There was not enough rain to help extinguish the fire, and a lightning strike sparked a small fire near the reservoir. Erratic winds made fire movement unpredictable.
“[The firefighters] have a heightened awareness that winds could come from any direction when they move overhead,” said incident spokesperson Bobbi Filbert. “Having our situational awareness in place at all times, making sure we have good escape routes, good safety zones established.”
Emergency management officials planned to begin their damage surveys. There have been no reliable estimates of how many homes have been damaged or destroyed. The surveyors can only make it into certain places that are safe. It could be some time before they have a total number of homes that have been affected.
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