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Utah Co. wildfire growing in size, containment

SPANISH FORK — The double wildfire in Utah County continues to grow in size, but also containment, as 6,000 people from 2,000 homes remain evacuated.

Fire crews could request more evacuations.

“They relay to us, ‘Hey, we’re hitting trigger points. This zone ought to go from pre-evacuation to evacuation,’” said Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith.

“The evacuation order actually comes from the law enforcement authority in the area.”

At Springville High School, area residents met Monday night to learn about the what-ifs: what if the fire keeps spreading toward them, what if they need to evacuate?

Lisa Lott lives in the left fork of Hobble Creek Canyon and says she is as ready as she can be.

“We moved everything we could, and I have documents ready in bins by my front door. If they tell us to go, we are going,” she says. “It makes your heart do a flip that’s for sure, because you really look to see what’s important.”

Another resident, Royal Chamberlain, says he and his neighbors are grateful for the work firefighters are doing.

“I’m glad that others were stepping up asking what we can do as a community to help the firefighters. Those that risk their lives for us,” he said.

Marie Bott worries about having to evacuate quickly with her children.

“When I heard it jumped Highway 6, I immediately felt sick,” she said.

Bott says she felt more reassured after the meeting at Springville High School, where she learned how far out authorities look at the conditions and geography.

Smith says Pole Creek-Bald Mountain Fire has burned 90,000 acres, but no homes so far. It’s 23-percent contained, but crews are at Mother Nature’s mercy. Another round of winds and very low humidity have prompted a red flag warning.

“If we could even get our crews in there, some of these areas that the fire’s into are some pretty rugged, treacherous areas,” Smith said.

Another 400 firefighters from across the country could join the 1,200 firefighters on scene.

Springville officials have zoned areas of the city in case it would be necessary to evacuate the west side of the mountains. The zones are basically the same as the no fireworks zones.