The first of two private meetings with owners of property in the Dollar Ridge Wildfire area was held in Fruitland Tuesday morning. Home and seasonal cabin owners in Duchesne and Wasatch Counties learn today whether or not their property was destroyed.
"Today's going to be a really bad day for a lot of people," said Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox.
Cox told Utah Public Radio he met with Dollar Ridge Fire crews Monday.
"I had a chance to tour some of the areas and see firsthand some of that devastation," he said. "Unfortunately, for some of them they won't have insurance and it is going to be really hard as they try to recover from this."
Damage assessment teams are meeting with residents who own property in the perimeter. The Lt. Governor says fighting the fire is costing the state more than $1 million each day.
"We had about a thousand homes that were threatened. Those are safe right now, but we fear there were close to one hundred cabins or primary residences destroyed. Whether there were one or a thousand, when it is your one it is devastating," he said.
The state fire marshal is providing regular updates about the fire, which is 45 percent contained. Cox says he has been told the approach to fighting the fire from here on out will be very different now that homes are not threatened.
"Usually at night these fires kind of bed down,” he said. “That was not happening. The fire was growing at night. The next few days look very good for being able to fight this fire. They've got a plan of attack. They call it the catcher's mitt. They are sending it into an area where there are roads and they are working hard to expand the fire lines, the lines that are already there.”
More than 900 people, including support staff, continue to battle the blaze. Officials with the state of Utah and representatives from FEMA are assisting residents returning to the site. They are helping with clean-up and answering insurance questions.