Wildfire Evacuations Lifted For Two Utah County Communities

Sep 22, 2018, 8:23 PM | Updated: 9:36 pm

ELK RIDGE, Utah – You don’t usually find something good on the other side of a road block.

However, the drivers waiting in line on Elk Ridge Drive in Elk Ridge knew exactly what was waiting for them.


“How we doing today, sir?” said a Utah County deputy to a driver as the driver pulled up to the orange cones. “Welcome home.”

“Thank you,” said the driver back.

After almost a week and a half of being evacuated because of the Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires burning in Utah County, Elk Ridge and Woodland Hills residents were allowed back this morning.

The road block was so law enforcement officers could make sure drivers lived in the communities.

“I’m going to put this white sticker on your car so you can come and go as you please,” said a deputy to another driver. “All the homes are standing and things are looking good, so that’s a plus.”

The Nebeker family couldn’t wait to get home. They were staying with a friend in Spanish Fork for nine days.

“It could be worse,” said Christi Nebeker “We just smile and say what an experience.”

Smiling and laughing is all they could do. Now, it’s lots and lots of cleaning. Especially with stagnant smells.

“Don’t look. Holy moly, don’t look,” said Nebeker with a laugh as she threw something into the garbage.

It takes a little bit of work to make home feel like home again.

“It’s hard because our routines are messed up and we feel like we imposed on who we were with,” said Nebeker.

She felt that was even though her family didn’t really bring much with them to their friend’s house.

“It’s kind of funny what you pick up and what you find important. Because, my friend, when we showed up at her house, she said that’s it? And when you come down to it, I mean, this is what’s important,” she said while pointing to her husband and their three children.

It’s the lesson wildfires often bring.

“It was a hard experience, but we’re lucky to come through it as well as we did,” she said.

“Even though residents were allowed to go back home, their communities are technically under a pre-evacuation status.

That means if the fire turns back towards them, they could be evacuated again. Still, though, it’s good to be home.

Talking to drivers Smoke Nebeker family cleaning Nebeker family Christi Nebeker cleaning Deputies and fire crews at the road block Deputies at the road block Deputies checking with drivers Firefighting helicopter Fires in the mountains Fires still burning
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Wildfire Evacuations Lifted For Two Utah County Communities