Evacuations Lifted for Bountiful Gun Range Fire
BOUNTIFUL, Utah – One look is all it took.
“It’s amazing. Great view,” said Justin Whittaker while standing on the back deck of his Bountiful home. “That’s really why we bought the house was the location.”
For all the pretty views Whittaker and his family are used to, though, when they came back home Saturday morning, the mountains weren’t the first thing that made them say “wow.”
“It’s completely different,” said Whittaker. “The fire came down all the way down the hillside and got pretty close to our house and property.”
When his neighborhood was evacuated early Friday morning, Whittaker wasn’t sure his house was going to still be standing when he came back.
“I walked out the front door and it was bright as day,” he said.
Whittaker took pictures of the huge flames approaching his home just before leaving.
“It was really scary. We grabbed our financial documents we had, important things, anything the kids didn’t want to see burned in the fire and we threw it in the car and took off,” he said.
His neighborhood was evacuated for two days until Saturday morning when fire managers decided it was safe enough to let people back in.
“The fire is looking really good. We’re happy with that, so we should have this out in the next couple of days,” said Kim Osborn, who is the fire information officer for the Gun Range Fire.
Even though his neighborhood is now surrounded by burned land and black ash, and his home has plenty of smoke damage, Whittaker is thankful he still has a home.
He knows some of his neighbors don’t.
“That’s devastating. I know the community is rallying around them and we feel for them,” said Whittaker.
The views are still amazing, but there is no doubt what’s most important.
“In that moment we were evacuating, we didn’t really care about all the stuff, said Whittaker. “We grabbed what we could. We’re just happy that our kids and our family is safe.”
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