Second wildfire rages across Utah: 39,000 acres goes up in flames

Monday, June 25, 2012
By Paul Martin
June 25, 2012

UTAH – Utah’s fire worries have worsened. While firefighters marched closer to fully containing the blaze that has burned over 6,000 acres on the western edge of Utah County, another fire erupted Sunday afternoon in Sanpete County that destroyed 25-30 structures on Sunday, forced the closure of Highway 89 and caused more than 500 homes to be evacuated. The Sanpete fire, known as the Wood Hollow fire, started Saturday afternoon but took an aggressive turn on Sunday as the fire grew to burn more than 39,000 acres and was listed by fire officials as being only 4 percent contained. “This is not good,” stated Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, in a phone interview as he watched the fire from Indianola. “It seems after talking to fire experts at both fires that they are all commenting this seems worse than what happened at Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain.” Chaffetz posted on his Twitter account Sunday night that he could see one Sanpete home already on fire and that there were more homes nearby that could be threatened by the flames. “The fire crews have a lot of assets right now to fight the fire but there is also a lot of wind,” Chaffetz said. All residents West of Highway 89 from Indianola north to the county line were under mandatory evacuation. Evacuated areas include Oaker Hills, Elk Ridge, Indian Ridge, Indianola, Panorama, Big Hollow and Hideaway Valley in Sanpete County. Evacuees were told to go to North Sanpete High School in Mt. Pleasant where the Red Cross would be on hand to help those in need. The Utah County Sheriff’s office evacuated campers in Payson Canyon due to the Wood Hollow Fire. The sheriff’s office stated that there was a viable threat to the campers due to the proximity of the fire and felt it was best to have them evacuate the area. Highway 89 is closed north of Fairview to the county line at milemarker 297. –KSL

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