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Wildfire in Dixie National Forest forces evacuations

courtesy Kelly Freeman (2).jpg
Posted at 10:20 PM, Jun 05, 2021

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah — A wildfire in southern Utah has forced hundreds of homes to be evacuated.

The "Mammoth Fire," burning near Mammoth Creek in Dixie National Forest, started Saturday around noon.

It was estimated at 400 acres Saturday, and by Sunday it had grown to 566 acres with no containment yet.

Officials said 280 homes in Mammoth Creek Village are threatened, and 150 people have been evacuated.

Donald Cameron and his wife were at their family's cabin when they noticed the smoke, then soon they could see the flames.

“It was very real, very imminent, and we were grateful to be evacuating at that point,” Cameron said.

Sharon Morales, who was also evacuated, said it’s a whirlwind of emotions.

“With the winds, it is really nerve racking to not know how long we will be out,” she said.

PHOTOS: "Mammoth Fire" burning in Dixie National Forest

Many of the cabins were built in the 1940s and have a lot of history, Tami Belt said. Belt was evacuated Saturday at her family cabin.

“Our family has had a cabin in Mammoth Creek since the 1940s when my grandfather built it,” she said.

Similarly, the cabin where Cameron was staying has been in his wife’s family since the 1950s.

“The cabin has been around [a long time], and it is basically irreplaceable because of the emotional," he said. "They don’t make cabins like that anymore.”

courtesy Donald Cameron.jpg

Garfield County Sheriff Danny Perkins tweeted Saturday that he saw "numerous firefighters save numerous homes."

The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation.

In the other southern corner of the state, officials say the "Turner Park Fire" is visible from I-70 in Grand County. It was estimated at 19 acres and was burning in remote and inaccessible terrain. Smoke jumpers were deployed.

The Turner Park Fire was sparked by lightning, and the Mammoth Fire's cause is still under investigation.

Most of southern Utah is under a Red Flag Warning until Tuesday.