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Bennion Creek Fire forces residents of Aspen Grove out of their homes

Posted at 8:27 AM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-11 11:28:21-04

SCOFIELD RESERVOIR, Utah — The Bennion Creek Fire in central Utah has now burned at least 4,700 acres and is zero percent contained.

Mandatory evacuations remained in place Friday as crews work to get the upper hand on the fire that is believed to have been caused by lightning.

The Aspen Cove neighborhood, high above Scofield Reservoir, in the Manti-La Sal National Forest, was evacuated Thursday around 5 p.m. after a dry cold front brought in high winds.

Residents say they knew they’d have to pack up and leave when the wind shifted.

‘You're watching the smoke mostly and as you're trying to pack there's smoke everywhere,” said Aspen Grove resident Jessica McWhirter. “We saw them start to go to other neighbors' homes and they did come to our home. They were very organized, very communicative. It was very good the way they were going from door to door making sure that anybody in the area was going to get evacuated."

No word yet on when people can return to their homes.

Tere are roughly 200 firefighting personnel on scene battling the wildfire, the combination of crews on the ground an aircraft overhead.

Officials have requested four additional ground crews and six engines to help attack the fire Friday.

Forestry officials say there have only been a couple times throughout history when the entire state has been under these extreme drought conditions.

There is even concern about exhausting the state's fire fighting resources.

For the very latest on wildfires burning across Utah, click here.