Fire near Strawberry Reservoir burns homes, forces evacuations

Jul 3, 2018, 6:50 AM | Updated: 1:58 pm
Follow @kslpetersamore...

FRUITLAND – At least 300 homes have evacuated the 30,000-acre Dollar Ridge Fire near Strawberry Reservoir, and some are presumed lost.

Gov. Gary Herbert, R-Utah, estimates that up to 30 homes and buildings could have burned. He toured the destruction on Tuesday in one of four National Guard Blackhawk helicopters on loan to fight the fire.

“So we were able to fly above and around the fire to see the flame and see the smoke, and the wide devastation that’s taken place here,” Gov. Herbert said.

The governor also met with evacuated families in Duchesne, and thanked neighbors and volunteer groups for helping them.

He reminded reporters at the Duchesne County Fairgrounds that humans have started 92 percent of Utah’s wildfires, like Dollar Ridge, this year.


“With your ATVs, don’t park your hot engines over a patch of weeds,” Gov. Herbert said. “Only do a campfire in a designated campground.

“A lot of this is just common sense,” he added, and that wildfires are largely preventable.

The Governor urges residents to stay out of their neighborhoods for their own safety, until evacuation orders are lifted.

The fire burned out of control on Monday and was too dangerous even for 150 firefighters on scene.

“We haven’t been able to put crews on the line,” Jason Curry, a spokesman with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands said. “Aircraft have been ineffective, if not dangerous with the winds and the smoke.

“The aerial assessments have shown us very little because of all the smoke cover.”

Curry adds some of the 300 evacuated buildings have burned, but investigators cannot tell which ones. He was shocked the flames spread as fast and far as they did.

“Our aerial observers were seeing long-range spot fires going out as much as half a mile ahead of the fire,” Curry said.

More crews are arriving Tuesday, hoping to do real firefighting today. Steep terrain, high winds and heat won’t help them.

Meanwhile, Marcia Sweat quickly grabbed her late father’s pictures, light fishing rods, journals, and collection of flashlights from the cabin he built.

“I can’t get everything because I can’t get them in the car,” she said through tears. “My dad past away seven years ago on Saturday.”

Right until they evacuated, Sweat’s family pulled weeds and moved dirt.

“Just hope and pray for everybody that nobody gets hurt,” she said. “I know some will lose their homes and things. It’s really hard.”

People in 300 homes fled to Fruitland’s LDS Church and Duchesne High School, among other places.

No word on when they can go home, although Strawberry Reservoir and the roads surrounding it remain open.

As for today’s weather here: highs in the low 80s with just 20 percent humidity and wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour.

Today’s Top Stories


The Kaysville Fourth of July Parade is canceled after a medical emergency....
Kira Hoffelmeyer

8-year-old girl in critical condition after getting injured at Kaysville parade

KAYSVILLE, Utah — An 8-year-old has been critically injured during the Kaysville City Fourth of July parade. Kaysville Police say the girl was taken to a hospital for her injuries. This happened at 175 S. Main St in Kaysville. It’s unclear if the child fell off the float and was hit, or if she was […]
1 day ago
Tooele City announced its firework restrictions Sunday evening. Photo Credit: Tooele City's Faceboo...
Devin Oldroyd

Tooele City releases fireworks restrictions map

Tooele City announced its firework restrictions Sunday evening.
2 days ago
Map of Layton City firework restrictions...
Waverly Golden

Layton City is under extreme firework restrictions

A Facebook post by Layton City said a firework ban is in place east of Highway 89 and hazard zones. Citations will be issued for violations.
3 days ago
Photo of Riverton Police, the ones who sent out the amber alert, vehicle...
Mark Jones

8-year-old boy struck by car in Riverton, suffers head injury

Riverton police an 8-year-old boy suffered a head injury Friday night after a collision with a vehicle. The boy was transported to Primary Children's Hospital.
4 days ago
Utah deadliest days UHP investigates double fatal accident....
Mark Jones

One person dead in three-vehicle crash in southern Utah

The Utah Highway Patrol reports that one person died Friday following a three-vehicle crash in southern Utah. One other person was transported to the hospital with injuries.
4 days ago
Herbert Cox statement Reyes election lawsuit...
Mark Jones

State of Utah files lawsuit against pharmaceutical retailers

Three pharmaceutical retailers are facing a lawsuit from the State of Utah. The lawsuit was filed the week of July 1.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Fire near Strawberry Reservoir burns homes, forces evacuations