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Heber resident describes 'Big Hollow Fire'

Posted at 10:05 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-18 00:50:55-04

HEBER CITY, Utah — The "Big Hollow Fire" in Heber has burned 418 acres and is 22 percent contained.

Residents were evacuated for a short time Thursday night.

Firefighters say they're too familiar with the area, and they think they know why fires keep happening there.

In fact, on Friday one man watched the fire crest the top of a nearby hill and crawl close to his house.

Todd Andersen watched aerial fire crews drop water on the blaze about a mile or less from his front door.

"About two in the morning, the whole hillside was on fire and you could hear it crackling," he said. "I would say the flames were in the 50-foot range coming over the top of the ridge."

While his family and neighbors evacuated, Andersen stayed behind.

"Even if I had to stand there with a garden hose and spray the weeds or something, I felt i had something to do," he said.

Investigators were on scene Friday interviewing witnesses. This is a human-caused fire but they're looking into what exactly happened.

Firefighters will stay on scene overnight Friday into Saturday to continue monitoring the fire, and if the wind will change direction.