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‘Dollar Ridge Fire’ continues to cause problems for eastern Utah community

Posted at 9:52 PM, Jul 05, 2018

DUCHESNE, Utah -- The "Dollar Ridge Fire" is still causing problems in Eastern Utah.

The 42-thousand-acre blaze briefly crossed highway 40 – forcing the Utah Department of Transportation to shut it down.

Fire fighters worry as many as 90 homes are already destroyed and nearly a thousand more are at risk. Many of those homeowners packed a community meeting Thursday night, hoping for answers.

"We're here because we were mandatory evacuated,” said Sonja Hillige, one of the hundreds of people forced to evacuate their homes. She sat in the packed auditorium, by the time the meeting started there was standing room only.

"I’m hoping they'll have some information on the positive side that hopefully we'll be in our homes soon,” Hillige said.

Each person has their own story but everyone is waiting and worrying.

“One of the maps shows our cabin is gone and the other shows that it's still a possibility,” said Darren Lewis from West Valley City who has a cabin in the area that the fire is raging in.

The cabin was built by Darren Lewis's father half a century ago, he has no idea if it's still standing.

“It's tough, it's tough. 50 years of family memories,” Lewis said.

He was there just last weekend, he had no idea that might have been the last time he would ever see it. As the fire rages closer, he prays he doesn't lose the cabin his dad built because he already lost his father earlier this year.

“That's why it's so hard,” Lewis said.

Darren also sat in the auditorium as local, state and federal agencies explained how powerful and dangerous this fire is.

“This thing has the ability to move all directions at any given time,” said one of the fire officials.

Moving miles in a matter of hours, highlighting the importance of managing risk while protecting homes and most importantly lives.

“I know we've lost some homes in this fire but I’m grateful for the fact no life has been lost,” fire officials said.

They know everyone was hoping and praying to go home, but fire officials still don’t know when that will be.

Fire crews are hoping they can hold the line so they don't have to put their 4th evacuation into place. They are hoping to lift at least some of those later this week.

A donation account has been set up at Mountain America Credit Union under the Dollar Ridge Victim's Fund.