Ten days later and the Pole Creek fire is still raging and threatening nearby communities and homes.
Approximately 2,000 residents gathered at Salem Hills High School Saturday to hear the latest fire information, according to a press release released Sunday morning.
The press release says the Pole Creek fire currently covers about 62,000 acres and is two percent contained as of Sunday morning.
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox posted on Twitter this morning saying about 6,000 people have been evacuated.
According to the press release, high winds, warm temperatures and low humidity are making suppression difficult for firefighter and public safety crews. U.S. Highway 6 and 89 remain closed. Highway 6 was closed due to the fire jumping to the north side of the road, though burnout operations on the south side were successful.
Hand crews, engines and heavy equipment continue to pool in fire areas to help with containment. The press release says ground crews and heavy equipment operators are responsible for providing structural protection in the fire’s most critical areas. The task force plans to remain in the areas throughout the night.
According to the Wildland Fire and Air Quality Response Program, red flag weather conditions are expected to last through the night. Smoke has pushed northeast into Utah Valley and settled in Heber Valley and the Uintah Basin areas. The poor air quality is expected to reach to southwest Wyoming.
Air quality from Payson to the point of the mountain is still good because the wind is clearing the smoke from the area, according to the Wildland Fire and Air Quality Response Program.
In Provo, air quality is expected to vary between moderate to USG due to the wind. Sensitive groups such as children, elderly and those with existing heart and lung conditions should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.
Sunday morning, Cox shared an update from the Red Cross congratulating Utah on their relief efforts.
Update from the Red Cross noting a few problems: 1) Big waiting list…of people that want to HELP and provide shelter for others. 2) TOO MANY donations. Please stop for now. 3) 6,000 people evacuated and no one staying at the shelter.
Well done Utah. Well done.? ??????
— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) September 16, 2018
This story will be updated.