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Range Fire Forces Evacuations Of Homes In, Near Provo Canyon

Oct 17, 2020, 12:52 PM | Updated: 10:24 pm

OREM, Utah – Firefighters responded to a brush fire in the area of 1000 East and Cascade Drive in Orem, and Summit County crews responded to a fire near Henefer.

Range Fire

The Range Fire flared up around noon Saturday near the gun range north of Provo Canyon.

It was initially estimated at 15 acres and growing.

State fire officials said the fire’s cause is under investigation.

Crews with the Pleasant Grove Fire Department asked the public to avoid the area and keep drones grounded.

Ground and air resources from multiple departments have responded to the scene.

Chief Shaun Hirst with the Orem City Fire Department said a number of homes near the mouth of Provo Canyon were evacuated as well as several homes within the canyon. He said the homes within Provo Canyon, the Homestead neighborhood, and the area near the Cascade Golf Course in Orem were under direct threat.

Evacuations were also ordered for Squaw Peak Road, south of Provo Canyon.

U.S. Highway 189 was closed due to smoke. Officials said traffic was being rerouted through SR-92.

The blaze reportedly grew to 1,500 acres around 7 p.m. Saturday.

Firefighters said they’re focusing on establishing containment lines.

“It kept getting worse, and then they’d drop, and then it would get better, and then it’d get worse!” said Diane Landgrave, who was ordered to evacuate.

Diane, and her son Michael, spent all afternoon watching as the flames grew dangerously close to their home.

“We got a call about two hours ago for an evacuation,” said Diane. “A police officer came to our door.”

Crews said they hope the winds don’t change direction overnight.

“Unless it gets really bad, we’ve packed a bunch of stuff in our other daughter’s truck,” said Diane.

The flames quickly spread, burning through grass and oak brush.

“This is October. We typically are not fighting this kind of fire in October. Our fuel moistures are way low for this time of year,” said Hirst.

The strategy going into Saturday night includes burn out operations, using air and ground support with about 120 firefighters.

“Traditionally, there is a breeze that comes out of that canyon every night, that is why we are evacuating those homes and developing a group of structure protection engines in the event that does occur,” said Hirst.

As for the Landgraves, they’re staying optimistic.

“I said Karma, if this comes and burns all down, I’m heading to Florida and I’m going to sit on the ocean on the sand,” said Diane.

An evacuation center has been set up through the American Red Cross of Utah at Foothill Elementary, located at 921 Explorer Way in Orem.

LIVE: Officials with the Orem City Fire Department provide updates on the Range Fire.

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Saturday, October 17, 2020

Summit County Fire

Crews from the Park City Fire Department and North Summit Fire Service District responded to a fire on the east side of Henefer in Summit County.

The Fire Canyon Fire was initially estimated at 60 to 80 acres, but later grew to 1,600 acres.

Officials said the human-caused fire was not threatening any structures.

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Range Fire Forces Evacuations Of Homes In, Near Provo Canyon