View Behind Fire Lines Shows Destruction of Land and Protection of Homes

Sep 19, 2018, 4:48 PM | Updated: 9:12 pm

ELK RIDGE, Utah – As the Pole Creek Fire and Bald Mountain Fire continue to burn, fire bosses today took reporters behind fire lines.  They showed widespread destruction in areas adored for recreation and valued for cattle grazing, but also progress in protecting neighborhoods.

Right now, 600 firefighters are on the Bald Mountain Fire, mindful of the wind as it intensifies this afternoon and evening.  The 16,000-acre fire is burning above the communities of Woodland Hills and Elk Ridge, where 5,000 people have been evacuated.  But, fire bosses say, they’ve been able to cut fire lines and improve the protection for those homes.

“This is another red flag fire day,” said Dan Dallas, Bald Mountain Fire Planning Chief. “That means winds are expected to be over 30 miles an hour.”  And, the relative humidity is below 15 percent.”

Dan Dallas, fire planning chief on the Bald Mountain Fire, took KSL 5 behind the fire lines

Elite hotshot crews of 20 firefighter are out for several days at a time. They are camping out, doing the toughest work right on the fire lines.

“They’re walking right against the fire line which is just on the other side of this mountain,” said Dallas. They are working to protect homes with a greater barrier from the fire. “One foot is in the black. One foot is in the green. They are digging a line right up there.”

Firefighters took reporters up the Nebo Loop Road, about seven miles up Payson Canyon, in an area just above the Grotto Trailhead.  We were roughly four miles below the Payson Lakes area which is a very popular camping area.

KSL 5 TV went behind the fire lines to see parts of Payson Canyon

Firefighters said the entire area burned through several days ago. That was when the fire blew up over the weekend and expanded drastically.
The fire has turned this entire area into a moonscape that firefighters call ‘nuke black.’ Right now, firefighters are working just on the other side of the ridge to make sure that they have better structure protection for those neighborhoods of Woodland Hills and Elk Ridge.

“There’s pretty much nothing left,” said Patrick Costin, a fire public information officer.  “You’ve got tree stumps.. Almost all of the grasses, the brush all the little things were just completely consumed.”

Fire bosses showed where trees had burned, as well as where a fire line was protecting homes.

Cool nights enable firefighters to make progress.  But, flames flare up again in the afternoon.  As the winds pick up, firefighters expect an active day on both the Pole Creek Fire and the Bald Mountain Fire.  Firefighters fear the weather today will be as bad as it gets.

It’s been six days since the fire took off, expanded rapidly, and forced people out of their homes. Still no word on when they can get back into their neighborhoods.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Luanne Monson

Wildfire Insurance TONIGHT 10PM

6 days ago
Luanne Monson

Wildfire Insurance MONDAY 10PM

6 days ago
air force thunderbirds...
Mike Anderson, KSL TV

‘It’s a boon to our community’: Next weekend’s air show to bring $50 million to Utah

The return of the Warriors Over the Wasatch Air Show at Hill Air Force Base will attract as many as 500,000 visitors next weekend.
15 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.
View Behind Fire Lines Shows Destruction of Land and Protection of Homes