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Additional evacuations ordered in Utah County, US-6 closed again as Pole Creek, Bald Mountain fires burn

Posted at 2:13 PM, Sep 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-17 11:04:18-04

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

According to Ephraim Police, U.S. 89 remains closed from the U.S. 6 junction to the Utah/Sanpete County line.

Diamond Fork and Sheep Creek Canyons were under mandatory evacuations Sunday afternoon as the pair of fires jumped US-6.

The right-hand fork of Hobble Creek Canyon was also under evacuations Sunday evening. The left-hand fork of the canyon was under a pre-evacuation notice.

As of Sunday, US-6 was closed again in both directions of Spanish Fork Canyon.

Fire officials called Sunday a "Red Flag day," due to high winds and low humidity.

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

More than 6,000 people have been evacuated due to the fire, which was threatening at least 2,000 homes.

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 2:30 p.m. Sunday. It was opened for several hours in the morning Sunday, but was re-closed due to fire activity.

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."

A map of the fire, as of Sunday afternoon, can be seen below: