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WASATCH/DUCHESNE COUNTIES, Utah, July 2, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — The Dollar Ridge Fire, which started Sunday near Strawberry Reservoir, has now consumed 30,000 acres, and some buildings have been affected, officials reported Monday evening.
Late Monday, Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that roadblocks will be set up at the entry points to the areas evacuated because of the fire.
All mandatory evacuations remain in place until further notice. In the interest of everyone’s safety, no one will be allowed to enter the evacuated areas.
The shelter at the LDS church in Fruitland is full, the release said, but Duchesne High School is available for those who need shelter.
According to the news release, those who have animals can take them to the Duchesne County Fairgrounds. If you have a trailer and have been evacuated, you can park it at the fairgrounds.
Evacuations were ordered Monday afternoon and the evacuation order has been extended as the blaze continues its rapid advance with no containment.
The sheriff’s office said in a news release the evacuations begin at the Wasatch-Duchesne County line headed east along the Currant Creek Stream to the Lower Red Creek Road, south on the Lower Red Creek Road to the Strawberry Pinnacles Junction, continuing south from the Strawberry Pinnacles Junction on the Avintaquin Canyon Road to the junction of Horse Ridge Road, south on Horse Ridge Road to the Reservation Ridge Road.
At 5 p.m. Monday, Pinion Ridge residents were advised by Duchesne County Sheriff’s officials that they should also begin evacuating. The Pinion Ridge evacuation area is approximately mile marker 61 to mile marker 74 on the south side of US-40.
Violation of this evacuation order is a violation of state law punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000, the news release said.
This order also restricts all entry to the established hazard area. No one will be allowed to re-enter the area until the evacuation order has been lifted.
The county will notify the public when the order is lifted once public safety can be assured, the news release said.
Fruitland residents south of state Route 40 and west of Lower Red Creek Road have been alerted to prepare to evacuate if needed, officials added.
Residents cannot access Camelot on the Strawberry River Road, and residents cannot access Timber Canyon from any direction.
Officials said some homes and cabins have been lost, but no dollar estimate of damages was available. The emphasis Monday night is to make sure all residents and campers in the evacuation areas are safe and have shelter.
The Dollar Ridge Fire started 4.5 miles southeast of Strawberry Reservoir at about 1 p.m. Sunday. Initially reported as 20 acres burning in timber on private property, by 3:30 p.m. the fire had overtaken an estimated 1,500 acres.
Officials said Sunday night the fire had consumed an estimated 6,600 acres and was still zero percent contained.
“Responding resources made initial attack and the fire spread quickly in steep terrain and high winds,” the tweet from Utah Fire Info said. “Air tankers and helicopters were used to cool the fire and enable crews to directly work the fire line, but fire behavior made it too hot for crews to access. The smoke column was visible from as far away as Moab and Park City.”
As the fire advanced, the Wasatch and Duchesne County Sheriff’s Offices coordinated with fire managers to determine evacuation areas.
A Type 2 Incident Management Team was scheduled to arrive Monday and could take command of the fire as early as Tuesday.
The cause is believed to be due to human activity and is under investigation.
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Gephardt Daily will update this story as more information becomes available.