MILLARD COUNTY, Utah — A pair of wildfires that forced homes to be evacuated Friday in Millard County and are continuing to grow two days later.
State wildfire officials reported that the Halfway Hill Fire, located southeast of Fillmore, has spread rapidly since it was first discovered Friday around 2 p.m. Evacuations were ordered for the Virginia Hills area and were still in effect Saturday.
The Halfway Hill Fire's latest estimate Sunday was 7,958 acres with 0 percent containment.
Investigators determined it was caused by an unattended campfire, which four people were arrested for.
#HalfwayHillFire is est. 7000+ acres. Today, erratic winds & extremely dry conditions made it challenging for firefighting efforts. Crews focused on securing line to protect the surrounding communities. Great Basin Team 4 will assume command of the fire tomorrow morning. #kmyffsl pic.twitter.com/bgVPADqSCq— Utah Fire Info (@UtahWildfire) July 10, 2022
About 30 miles north, the Dry Creek Fire is burning east of Oak City. It grew fast Friday, but officials said there was "minimal fire behavior" Saturday. As of Sunday, it was estimated at 1,816 acres with 40 percent containment.
Evacuations were ordered Friday in Oak Creek Canyon and were still in place as of the latest update.
Officials said the Dry Creek Fire was human-caused, and the exact cause is under investigation. It was sparked on private land near the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon and has since spread to U.S. Forest Service land.
The Millard County Sheriff's Office asked the public to stay away from the areas of Sand Rock Ridge, Pine Creek, Oak Creek Canyon and Dry Creek due to the wildfires.
"We appreciate your willingness to avoid unnecessary travel around these events to allow heavy fire resources to move about," the office wrote in an announcement Friday afternoon.
Officials announced Saturday that some roads and areas near the Dry Creek Fire were closed:
Both wildfires were discovered around 2 p.m. Air tankers and firefighting helicopters were deployed to help containment efforts in both areas, although some were unable to fly Saturday due to powerful wind gusts.
In addition to these wildfires, a tire shredding plant in Fillmore caught fire Friday afternoon. The Millard County Chronicle Progress reported that the combination of these fires was "stretching local resources" and that firefighters were "scrambling to respond."
Utah Wildfire Info said the tire plant fire was not connected to either of the wildfires.