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Neighbors, good Samaritans credited for helping stop 2 Box Elder County fires

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TREMONTON — Shaela Grange came home to a somewhat frightening sight Saturday: a field right next to her home was left charred, covered in ash.

"It was absolutely overwhelming," the Tremonton resident said. "Because you can see the line of the fire that it was coming right toward my home."

Grange later learned that at least a dozen neighbors rushed to respond that morning, grabbing fire hoses, rakes and shovels.

"Really, without the neighbors here it would have been a different outcome," Grange said.

That same day, to the west in the town of Bothwell, Krys Oyler had a similar experience.

"It got a little nerve-wracking when you see all the smoke coming up," Oyler said.

He was working in his wheat fields when several neighbors started calling his cellphone, all at the same time. Many of them hopped on tractors to try to defend Oyler's home.

"I was up on the fire, so I don't know how many people were here," Oyler said. "My mother said the yard was full of volunteers."

Many of those volunteers started building a fire line around Oyler's home; others he said worked alongside firefighters to contain the small blaze. Without those efforts, Oyler believes he could have lost nearly everything.

"The whole mountain could still be burning," he said.

Volunteer firefighters said at least three fires were started by lightning strikes in the Bothwell area Saturday.

Oyler and Grange are just grateful to the neighbors who came to their rescue.

"(It's) just totally overwhelming to think that many people were willing to step in and save our home when we couldn't," Grange said.

"And they don't expect a thing," Oyler said. "Maybe a 'thank you,' and that's good enough."

Both Grange and Oyler also wanted to thank firefighters for their efforts. Grange said she heard crews were busy fighting another fire as the one next to her house started.


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