Friday night, Westlake High school in Saratoga Springs became a refuge for thousands of residents forced to evacuate their homes. 24 hours later that evacuation order was lifted; and so were the spirits of everyone around.
Eric Reese and his family attended a dinner at the high school provided by the Red Cross and other businesses before returning back to their home.
“We were evacuated on Friday afternoon. We live right on the interface between the wild land there. The fire got within 200 feet of our home and at that point is when they told us to leave.”
Reese, his wife, and 3 young kids stayed in the area as long as they could, keeping an eye on their home. Eventually they spent the night with friends, awaiting any news about their neighborhood.
“As we were leaving we have pictures of air tankers over our house dropping the air retardant probably 30 feet behind our house.”
Now, they are grateful to the 450 fire personnel who worked through the weekend to help contain the fire. Jason Curry, Spokesman for the Incident Management Team, says the Dump Fire -- named because it started near a landfill -- was human caused. Now that the fire is more than 90 percent contained he has this message for Utahns.
“I hope people get the message that it is super hot and super dry. Our fire danger is higher than it has been in years. We can’t afford to have anymore of these fires.”
The Dump Fire was one of 4 major fires burning in the state over the weekend. Fire fighters also battled the Wood Hollow Fire in Sanpete County, the human-caused Quail Fire in Washington County, and the Grease Fire near Delta. As of Monday afternoon, UtahFireInfo.gov reported that the Grease Fire is 90% contained, the Quail Fire is 100% contained, and the Wood Hollow fire is only 10% contained.