Community Members in Utah County Receive Frank Message From Firefighters

Sep 15, 2018, 11:15 PM | Updated: 11:18 pm

UTAH COUNTY, Utah —Evacuees and community members who attended a community meeting on the Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires Saturday received a frank message from firefighters.

“Our ability to get in close and work the fire—especially at the north end of the fire where all the communities are—has been, well, it’s very limited,” said Evans Kuo, the deputy incident commander for Great Basin Team 5. “

Kuo warned the full house at the Salem Hills High School auditorium that high winds remained a dangerous adversary.

“We could try—we could put people up there, but most likely the fire would go right over the top of our lines and we would not be able to contain it,” Kuo said.

As of Saturday afternoon, the Pole Creek Fire had grown to 68,347 acres and the Bald Mountain Fire was estimated at 17,760 acres.

Kuo said 550 to 600 firefighters were working the fires, with as many as another 600 currently on the way to the area.

While firefighters were applauded several times for their efforts, some in attendance were not satisfied or happy, including one man who pressed firefighters on why they allowed the Bald Mountain Fire to burn during its initial stages.

Dave Whittekiend, supervisor of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, responded by saying firefighters didn’t just sit back and were monitoring the fire and were working to build a line to halt its progress.

“We didn’t think Bald Mountain would do anything because it sat for days,” said Whittekiend, who acknowledged the fire eventually outflanked firefighters.

Elk Ridge evacuee Jerry Stewart said he was left wanting more from firefighters.

“They didn’t really tell us anything about what’s going to happen or what they’re going to do to stop the fire from getting to our homes,” Stewart said. “I would have thought they could have told us more about how long it’s going to be that we’re out of our houses.”

Bill and Marjorie Stringham, who have been living out of a RV since the mandatory evacuation notice, said they believed firefighters had done a “good enough” job of keeping fire away from homes.

“There have been no structures burned,” Bill Stringham said. “With fires the size of that, that’s rather amazing.”



KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

FILE PHOTO: Utah County Attorney David Leavitt is pictured at a press conference in Salt Lake City ...
Michael Houck

Utah County Commissioner clarifies ‘incorrect’ quotes used in Leavitt mailers

Utah County Commissioner Ameilia Gardner sent a statement clarifying a possible endorsement of Utah County Attorney David Leavitt sent to local residents.
18 hours ago
Air Force Thunderbirds...
Merri Moeller, KSL TV

WATCH LIVE: Warriors Over The Wasatch 

After a four-year break, the Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show is back at Hill Air Force Base.
18 hours ago
FILE (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)...
Merri Moeller, KSL TV

Body found at Millcreek Walmart, police investigating

Unified Police Department said they were investigating Friday after a body was found at a Walmart.
18 hours ago
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hea...

‘Mitt Romney Republican’ is now a potent GOP primary attack

Mitt Romney isn't up for reelection this year. But Trump-aligned Republicans hostile toward the Utah senator have made his name a recurring theme in this year's primaries, using him as a foil and derisively branding their rivals “Mitt Romney Republicans."
18 hours ago
Bodycam footage from the Moab Police Department that shows them talking with Brian Laundrie is seen...
Jamiel Lynch and Chenelle Woody, CNN

Lawyer releases pages from Brian Laundrie’s notebook in which he admits to killing Gabby Petito

The attorney for the family of Brian Laundrie on Friday released eight pages from Laundrie's notebook that was found near his remains in Florida in October last year, according to a news release obtained by CNN affiliate WINK.
18 hours ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

Two members of USU Aviation program killed in plane crash

Two people died Friday morning in a small airplane crash in Cache County.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Community Members in Utah County Receive Frank Message From Firefighters