Davis County family evacuated after witnessing start of Sunny Cove fire at Flaming Gorge

Jul 18, 2023, 10:06 PM | Updated: Jul 19, 2023, 7:34 am

DAGGETT COUNTY, Utah — Lightning is being blamed for starting the Sunny Cove fire near Flaming Gorge as the flames forced evacuations of around 80 people from a nearby campsite Monday.

The Midgley family from Kaysville planned on spending the week at the Mustang Ridge Campground, but Mother Nature had her own plans.

“We actually were in the process of setting up our camp, when the lightning struck,” Dawnell Midgley recalled. “We saw it strike, and we immediately saw there was a fire.”

The family was visited by a park ranger within 10 minutes of the fire starting.

Campers backing up their gear to evacuate from the growing fire. (Courtesy: Midgley Family)

“They came rushing through the campground, telling everybody to get out and get out now,” Midgley said.

The family quickly rushed out of the area, leaving all of their belongings at the campsite. Thankfully they found a cabin to spend the night as they awaited word from officials on when they could go back and retrieve their camp supplies.

Dawnell Midgley with her family at the campsite. (Courtesy: Midgley Family)

“The rangers were able to escort us back to the campsite that night, and then again in the morning to get our things,” Midgley said.

The family says this experience is one they will never forget and one their kids can learn from.

“We were able to have those conversations, and at the end of the day, things are things, and people are what’s important, so we were just grateful we were able to get out safety,” she expressed.


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Davis County family evacuated after witnessing start of Sunny Cove fire at Flaming Gorge