Evacuations lifted on Flatt Fire burning near Enterprise in southern Utah

Some residents in Enterprise were evacuated Friday as the Flatt Fire came close to homes. On Saturday, many were allowed to return home. (Marc Weaver, KSL TV)



ENTERPRISE, Washington County — The Flatt Fire continues to burn in southern Utah near Enterprise, but many of the residents that were evacuated were told they could return to their homes.

You can't blame Calvin Holt for watering his lawn a little bit extra Saturday, especially when he wasn't sure his home was still going to be here.

"It was mighty close, but we came away OK," said Holt.

Holt and his family live in Enterprise. They watched the hillside Friday afternoon as the out-of-control Flatt Fire kept getting closer.

"When we started seeing the flames come up over the top of the hill, that's when we started getting really nervous and started throwing some things in suitcases," he said.

That was good thinking because soon after, he and his neighbors were evacuated.

"They came and knocked on our door and told us we had to leave," said Holt.

They spent the night worrying about their homes and futures.

Holt is the principal at Enterprise High School and helped with the Red Cross evacuation center being set up there.

He slept in his office when word came Saturday morning that they could go back to their homes.

"It was quite smoky still, lots of smoke, but it just kind of felt a lot more peaceful and less chaotic early this morning than it did last night," said Holt.

Unfortunately, one home was lost.

Smoke could still be seen coming from it Saturday afternoon after the fire had already roared through. "It burned until about 2 or 3 this morning," said Kevin Abel, who is the U.S. Forest Service public information officer assigned to the Flatt Fire.

Several crews are fighting the fire from the ground and from the air, focusing on the northern and western edge of Enterprise.

As of Saturday afternoon, the Flatt Fire has burned an estimated 10,000 acres and is 5% contained.

The goal for firefighters was to make sure the fire line they created Friday kept flames from reaching more homes Saturday.

"Crews are out there, they're working hard already today to start prepping that line and make sure they have a good foothold on it," said Abel.

A lightning strike started the fire, and with the ground as dry as it is, the flames took off.

Many people have said it's amazing more homes weren't lost.

"Our hearts go out to the family that did, and hopefully nobody else does," said Holt. "But we feel pretty fortunate and blessed and super grateful for the men and women, the firefighters out on the crews who worked through the night. Without them, we would've lost our home."

It's something Holt said he never wants to spend a night worrying about again.

Alex Cabrero

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