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Many evacuated residents return home from Pole Creek, Bald Mountain Fires

Elk Ridge resident Dennis Jacobson, center, thanks Lone Peak Fire Chief Reed Thompson, left, and Provo Fire Capt. Craig Olson, right, after Jacobson was able to return to his nearby home after evacuations were lifted on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. Pic: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

UTAH COUNTY — Two whole towns that were evacuated for the fires in Utah County got to go back home Saturday, when the evacuation order lifted for Woodland Hills and Elk Ridge.

Elk Ridge resident Christi Nebeker and her family stayed with friends for 9 days.

“We just smile and say, what an experience,” she told KSL TV.

They feel blessed their homes were saved. At one point they were told it could be two weeks until they got back home. The towns are back to pre-evacuation status, which means if the fires move, people may have to leave again. Covered Bridge residents in Spanish Fork Canyon are still evacuated.

The Bald Mountain and Pole Creek Fires together are around 118,000 acres, or about 184 square miles. But an aerial view shows not everything in the perimter burned. Payson Lakes is still intact.