SALT LAKE CITY — The Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires have now burned over 90,000 acres in Utah County, fire officials say. But crews are gaining ground and increasing containment.
The Pole Creek Fire has burned 74,509 acres and is at 25 percent containment with 689 fire personnel assigned to the blaze, according to the fire's incident commander Marty Adell. The Bald Mountain Fire has burned 15,635 acres and is at 12 percent containment with 671 fire personnel fighting the blaze, according to the fire's incident commander Todd Pechota.
More than 2,000 homes and about 6,000 people remain evacuated, including residents from Birdseye, Woodland Hills, Elk Ridge and the Covered Bridge, Diamond Fork and Sheep Creek areas, as well as the right fork of Hobble Creek Canyon. Residents along U.S. Highway 89 from Thistle to the Sanpete County line are also under evacuation.
Parts of Salem and the left fork of Hobble Creek Canyon are currently on pre-evacuation status, according to Utah County Sheriff's emergency manager Peter Quittner. Officials have asked residents to have their belongings packed and ready to go in case evacuation becomes mandatory.
There is no exact timetable for the evacuations to be lifted, Pechota said. Officials will not allow people to return to their homes until they are absolutely sure they will not have to ask them to leave again soon after.
"That’s something we strive to not let happen because that just doubles the distraction," he added.
U.S. Highway 6 through Spanish Fork Canyon and U.S. Highway 89 remain closed. State Route 201 from the I-80 junction to state Route 202 near Tooele were also closed Monday and Tuesday because of the Tooele Fire.
Westbound lanes of state Route 201 reopened Tuesday afternoon, Utah Department of Transportation officials tweeted. Eastbound commuters will have to use I-80 until at least Wednesday morning, they said.
Monday's Fire Coverage:
This story will be updated with the latest fire information throughout the day.