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.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Power lines are pictured in utah, utah has lower electricity bill than other states...

Tammy Kikuchi

Study shows Utahns pay cheapest electricity bills in the country

Utah residents are paying less for power than any other state. Rocky Mountain Power says they work hard to keep it that way.

10 hours ago

Welcome to Tooele sign is pictured on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020.A Child was taken to a nearby Hospita...

Derrick Jones

Update: Child hit by a car in Tooele

TOOELE, Utah — A four year old child was hit by a car Thursday afternoon near Spencer’s Field in Tooele. According to Cpt. Colbey Bentley of Tooele City Police Department, the child was injured however is in stable condition. Life flight was originally dispatched, but on-scene medical teams determined that ground transportation to a Salt […]

10 hours ago

FILE: High winds toppled trees that had stood for decades at the Ft. Douglas Post Cemetery, damagin...

Simone Seikaly

Rocky Mountain Power preparing for potentially strong wind storm in Salt Lake

The National Weather Service said wind gusts could reach 65 miles per hour in portions of western Utah valleys on Saturday.

11 hours ago

KSL NewsRadio's Jeff Caplan sits inside a FEMA emergency transmitter....

Amanda Dickson

KSL NewsRadio’s role as “first informers” in any emergency

In the worst-case scenarios and emergencies, KSL NewsRadio will be the first to provide essential information. We're doing it alongside FEMA.

11 hours ago

Welcome to Tooele sign is pictured on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020.A Child was taken to a nearby Hospita...

Britt Johnson

Tooele Valley Airport to get some major updates

A new master plan for the Tooele Valley Airport will be shared with the public this week.

12 hours ago

Workers hand-sort items from conveyors at the Waste Management sorting center in slc Utah, which de...

Mariah Maynes

Utah recycling is improving, according to Waste Management

Utah has made progress on how much gets recycled, according to Mark Snedecor, Waste Management of Utah's director of recycling operations. 

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Fire near Strawberry Reservoir burns homes, forces evacuations