‘There’s smoke everywhere’: residents recall evacuating during the Deuel Creek Fire
CENTERVILLE, Utah — Firefighters are making steady progress on a wildfire that scorched the hillside above Centerville last night.
The Deuel Creek Fire chased nearly 100 families out of their homes before midnight. Those evacuations were lifted Monday morning, but residents remain ready to clear out again if the fire burns down the mountain.
That initial attack by first responders likely saved homes and maybe even lives. But, for a few hours last night, residents did not know whether the fire would torch their neighborhood.
“I came out running and looked up, and there’s just like smoke everywhere,” said Bridger Stringfellow, who lives nearby.
Around 11 p.m., Bridger and his mother were alerted by a phone call from a neighbor.
“They just said the mountain is on fire. We came out to see some smoke,” Andrea Stringfellow said.
They couldn’t see the fast-moving flames right away because homes and trees blocked their view. So, they knocked on their neighbors’ doors to warn them.
“I was just running up the street telling everybody to get their sprinklers on,” Bridger said.
Firefighters stopped the blaze on Firebreak Road, only 100 yards above the neighborhood.
“Firebreak Road did its job,” Andrea said.
Fortunately, fierce winds blew the fire away from the homes.
#DeuelCreekFire Helicopters were able to assist ground resources this morning and early afternoon with bucket drops, to minimize active flames. Fire behavior remains minimal, despite today’s heat. No updated acreage or % contained at this time pic.twitter.com/Yrm477XuJj
— Utah Fire Info (@UtahWildfire) July 4, 2022
“There were uphill winds that carried it very quickly eastward up the mountain,” said Sierra Hellstrom, a public information officer with a Northern Utah Type 3 Incident Management Team.
That federal management team has brought in more resources to take over for local firefighters who led the initial attack with eight different agencies.
Helicopters have been dumping water on the fire all day, suppressing any flames.
“It is very difficult terrain to work in. It’s steep and rocky,” Hellstrom said.
At last measurement: 128 acres burned, 0% contained because the fire still has the potential to grow.
Fire investigators are digging into the cause of the fire. Right now, they say it is likely human-caused because there was no lightning in the area last night.
And the weather continues to be the most problematic variable.
“We are seeing one of the hottest days that we’ve had in a few weeks, and there are winds predicted this afternoon as well as the humidity to decrease.”
The people who live in the Centerville neighborhood are thankful for the swift attack by firefighters. The fire definitely caught everyone’s attention and put that neighborhood on alert.
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