Crews Evacuating People Near Diamond Fire, Ranchers Working to Move Cattle
SPANISH FORK CANYON, Utah – The Diamond Fire broke out earlier today in Spanish Fork Canyon causing evacuations of hikers and campers in the area.
Authorities said they received a call reporting the fire around 2 p.m. Saturday. The fire is located near the Diamond campground about five miles from Highway 6.
“Our big concern here is that this is a popular destination for people to come and recreate,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said.
With the flames quickly growing from 20 acres to over 300 in a few hours, search and rescue crews began evacuations of campers and hikers in the Monks Hollow and Three Forks Trailhead areas, according to Cannon.
“Right now we don’t have any structures that have been threatened, no people in immediate danger,” Cannon said. “Having people leave right now is out of an extreme sense of caution.”
The forest service had 40 firefighters on scene battling the flames.
“Crews will be leaving the area tonight, they will be reengaging in the morning,” said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Suzie Tenhage.
Cattle ranchers, Chason and Kendon Horton gathered some of their cows before nightfall.
“We rode up here top by the fire closer to the fire and found these five cows that were a little bit closer to the fire that was our threat,” said Chason Horton.
Chason Horton says they gathered most of their cows during their fall round-up but still have about 50 animals on the other side of the mountain.
“So now we will just work oursevles across the drough from where the fire is in the morning and gather them out,” Chason Horton said.
They hope tonight’s weather will help them out.
“It all depends on the weather and stuff like that and there is a lot of dry feed up there, a lot of fuel for this fire, so if it does hit the bottom and the wind picks it up it could travel,” Chason Horton said.
“We do not have a closure order in place right now,” Tenhagden said. “We may be allowing folks in tomorrow depending on what the fire does.”
At last report the cause of the fire was under investigation.
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