JUAB COUNTY, Utah, Sept. 16, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — U.S. Highway 6 through Spanish Fork Canyon has been closed again due to the Pole Creek Fire, which has ballooned to 68,347 acres.
A tweet from Utah County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Spencer Canyon said the highway closed down at 2 p.m. Sunday and Diamond Fork and Sheep Creek are also now under mandatory evacuation order.
Officials said the Pole Creek Fire has spotted, or jumped, over the canyon at Highway 89 and 6 junction.
In addition, the nearby Bald Mountain Fire has also jumped Highway 6, complicating the evacuation of Diamond Fork and Sheep Creek.
The Pole Creek Fire is 2 percent contained, according to the Inciweb website, and the blaze has begun to merge with the Bald Mountain Fire, which would bring the total acreage of the wildfires to 81,859.
Areas under mandatory evacuation include Woodland Hills, Elk Ridge, and Covered Bridge in Spanish Fork Canyon. Sites set up for evacuees to receive help include Salem Hills High School for humans, and the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds for horses.
The Pole Creek Fire started Sept. 6 in the Mt. Nebo Loop area, and has been found to be caused by lightning.
Cannon also tweeted: “The American Red Cross is saying thanks to the generosity of local citizens they no longer need donations. There is a waiting list of people offering space in their home for evacuees. Thank you all.”
Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox also tweeted: “Update from the Red Cross noting a few problems: 1) Big waiting list…of people that want to HELP and provide shelter for others. 2) TOO MANY donations. Please stop for now. 3) 6,000 people evacuated and no one staying at the shelter. Well done Utah. Well done.”
The estimated date for containment of the Pole Creek Fire is Oct. 1.