SPANISH FORK – Fire officials say the two blazes in southern Utah County are extremely active. The Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires have destroyed over 100 thousand acres so far, and neither one of them are more than a quarter contained.
Analysts says fires were extremely active Wednesday and they expect to see a big increase in the number acres burned by Thursday morning. One thing they use to predict that is called the Haines Index, which measures instability in the air.
Bald Mountain Fire Spokesman Dan Dallas says, “It’s on a scale from one to six and today was a Haines of six.”
Plus, Dallas says the erratic winds and the inversion are trapping the heat and moving the flames around.
“When this fire was very active during the day, there was a band of heat all the way across about halfway to two-thirds of the way up the mountains.”
On top of the weather problems, air drops had to be diverted away from one portion of the fire because someone flew a personal drone where the planes were flying.
Media and Public, we need your help. Today somebody flew a drone near the south end of the fire. Active air ops were underway and had to cease because of the drone. Please ask viewers & readers to contact Utah Valley Dispatch if they know who controlled the drone. (801)794-3970
— Spencer Cannon (@SGTCannonPIO) September 19, 2018
Utah County Sheriff’s Sergeant Spencer Cannon says, “Their operations had to be shut down. The fire operations section chief told us they didn’t have to land and do nothing. They were able to move them to another area of the fire.”
Cannon says this infuriates officers and fire fighters, and they want to catch whoever did it. So, anyone with information about the pilot should call police.
He says, “We want to make sure that this person is held accountable for their reckless actions.”
US Hwy-89 is closed and under mandatory evacuation from Thistle Junction to mile 302. The area from Eagles Landing (Near mile 302) south to the Utah/Sanpete county line is now PRE-evac and residents in that area may return home.
— Spencer Cannon (@SGTCannonPIO) September 20, 2018
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