UTAH COUNTY, Utah, Sept. 23, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — The Pole Creek Fire in Utah County has now burned 101,423 acres and is 34 percent contained, officials said Sunday morning.
The Bald Mountain Fire, which has merged with the Pole Creek Fire, is 18,596 acres and is 20 percent contained.
Residents in the Woodland Hills and Elk Ridge communities were let back into their homes starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, but officials are warning residents to remain vigilant.
“Incident managers are careful to remind everyone that while significant progress has been made, there are areas that still have great concern,” said a news release from Utah County Sheriff’s Office. “Those include Covered Bridge and Right Fork Hobble Creek, where mandatory evacuation orders are still in place. But officials also caution that people should still be prepared in Elk Ridge, Woodland Hills, and Birdseye should fire behavior change. Other areas in Diamond Fork are still threatened, but fire officials are optimistic that structure protection efforts there will continue to keep the Pole Creek Fire from advancing and damaging or destroying cabins in the Little Diamond and Wanrhodes area.”
A red flag warning has been issued due to strong winds Sunday, with gusts up to 40 mph and lower relative humidity, which will increase fire behavior and smoke, officials said.
While both U.S. Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 89 are open, due to fire operations that are ongoing along both roads drivers are being urged to exercise care and drive at the suggested speed of 45 mph.
The Pole Creek Fire started on Sept. 6 and the Bald Mountain Fire on Aug. 24; both fires were caused by lightning. The fires are expected to be contained by Oct. 1.
For an interactive evacuation zone and fire boundary map click here.