Two Utah County fires grow to 80,000 acres; thousands evacuated, highway closed

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    UTAH COUNTY — The Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires have continued to grow in Utah County, causing highway closures and thousands to be evacuated.

    As of early Saturday, the fires have grown to over 80,000 acres and are two percent contained, a press release made by the Utah County Sheriff said.

    US Highway 6 closed in both directions Saturday afternoon through Spanish Fork Canyon.

    US Highway 6 is now closed through Spanish Fork Canyon. Diamond Fork Canyon is now under pre-evacuation notice. All other closures and evacuation orders remain in place. Fire officials anticipate orders to remain in place for at least another 48 hours. https://t.co/TDwj6wrfzE

    — Spencer Cannon (@SGTCannonPIO) September 15, 2018

    6,000 people have been evacuated due to the fire, which was threatening 2,000 homes, the press release stated.

    Two Type 1 incident teams are on-scene fighting the fire.

    “Fire officials anticipate closures and evacuations will remain in place for at least another 48 hours,” the release said.

    The following road closures are still in place:

    • Santaquin Canyon is closed.
    • Payson Canyon is closed.
    • Nebo Loop Road at SR-132 in Nephi Canyon is closed.
    • US Highway 89, in Spanish Fork Canyon, is closed from mile 312, at Thistle Junction, to mile 298, at the Utah /Sanpete County line.
    • US Highway 6 through Spanish Fork Canyon is now closed as of 1:21 PM.

    Mandatory evacuations are in place for the following areas:

    • All residents living along US HWY-89 in the area from Nebo Creek to Thistle Junction.
    • All residents in Covered Bridge community near the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon.
    • All residents living in the cities of Woodland Hills and Elk Ridge.

    For residents who “have an urgent need to get to their home,” the Utah County Sheriff said access points are set up at 1200 S Woodland Hills Drive for Woodland Hills, and 11200 S Loafer Canyon Road and 11200 S Elk Ridge Drive (1600 West) for Elk Ridge.

    “Access to Covered Bridge may not be available because of ongoing fire operations,” the press release stated. “A Deputy will escort those who have these needs.”

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