FRUITLAND — Doug Adams already knew his cabin was gone.
But he needed to see for himself the destruction the Dollar Ridge Fire had caused to the place that he had spent every weekend, every holiday, and every extra penny for the past decade.
“I had to see what it was. I had to know. And I don’t want to have to guess about it,” he said. “(The cabin) was something I was really proud of and I enjoyed every minute of doing it.”
Tuesday morning, the final evacuation order was lifted in an area that was among of the first to leave when the Dollar Ridge Fire began burning, and the shelter that had been set up at Duchesne High School for those displaced was closed.
The human-caused fire has burned more than 52,000 acres and was 50 percent contained as of Tuesday morning. According to the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office, 74 homes have been destroyed and six more damaged, in addition to 131 camp and 81 utility trailers, 158 sheds and 25 vehicles declared total losses.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Linda Adams walks around what’s left of her house in Fruitland on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. The house was destroyed in Dollar Ridge Fire.
Still, some residents thought the overall count would be even worse.
“There’s more cabins still standing up there than I ever thought possible,” said Melinda Cloward, whose family has had property in the area for 20 years and a cabin for the past 18.
The Clowards, among the first evacuated, had been out of their cabin for over a week by Tuesday. She, like other property owners, have spent a lot of time in the parking lot of the LDS Church in Fruitland along U.S. 40. Emergency supplies were being handed out there.
But mostly, property owners congregated in the parking lot with binoculars and scopes pointed at the mountain across the street. Every roof of every cabin was memorized. They watched the fire burn from one side of the mountain to the other, all the while keeping a count on the number of roofs still visible.
Cloward said there were at least five times her cabin should have been lost.
“That fire rolled on top of us two or three times and down the ridge line. Due to the firefighters and the retardant and the water they dropped on the ridgeline and trying to save those structures, that’s the only reason …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News