Highway 6 Expected To Reopen Near Coal Hollow Fire

Aug 14, 2018, 7:23 PM | Updated: 9:44 pm

THISTLE, Utah – The closure of U.S. Highway 6 was scheduled to be lifted Tuesday evening at 8 p.m., due to the reduction of hazards related to the Coal Hollow Fire.

The road was closed in both directions at the Highway 89 Junction at Thistle, and has effectively paralyzed traffic in this region of the state, forcing drivers to take detours that can add more than two hours to their route.

It was another frustrating day for drivers, particularly long haul truckers, with Highway 6 closed at Thistle.

Still, the long term effects from the fire to the forest was concerning. More than 24,000 acres have burned and containment on Tuesday afternoon was just 2 percent.

“[It’s a] sad thing to see the mountain burn, any mountain,” said Colton Anderson of Springville.

Anderson was one of many hunters with trail cameras in the fire zone in advance of the archery deer hunt, which begins on Saturday. He was worried about the loss of habitat for wildlife.

“A lot of people don’t realize that a lot of elk and deer die because of a fire. They don’t think a fire moves as quick as it does,” Anderson added.

Meanwhile, at the fire camp in Indianola where more than 600 firefighters were based, they shared a tender moment, as they paid their respects to fallen Draper Battalion Chief Matt Burchett, who died fighting a fire in California.

More than 600 firefighters paid their respects to fallen Draper Battalion Chief Matt Burchett.

“This morning during our briefing we held a moment of silence for that firefighter, and you could feel in the air how sincerely grateful we were for his service. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends,” said Leann Fox from the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

Fire officials planned a community meeting Wednesday to update local residents on the status of the Cole Hollow Fire. The meeting was scheduled for 5 p.m. at Maple Mountain High School at 51 North 2550 East in Spanish Fork.

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Highway 6 Expected To Reopen Near Coal Hollow Fire