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Residents allowed back into homes following human-caused Art Nord Fire

A wildfire near Snowbasin Resort Saturday forced the evacuation of 50 homes and flames came within feet of several of their backyards. Residents are now being allowed back into their homes. (Mark Wetzel, KSL-TV)



HUNTSVILLE — A wildfire near Snowbasin Resort forced the evacuation of 50 homes and flames came within feet of several of their backyards.

Steve and Julie Facer looked out across their back deck Sunday and all they could see is acres and acres of charred mountain.

"We saw the sirens and the trucks coming and we made a joke about how we hope they're not going to our house," she said.

It was no joke, firefighters were rushing into their neighborhood.

"They said you have seconds to grab whatever you can out of the house. We'll let you in, but we're evacuating," she said.

"I was yelling, 'Get out, get your stuff, we've got to hurry! I can see the flames!" he said.

The fire was sparked Saturday by someone out target shooting.

Within minutes, flames had raced up the hillside toward a row of houses.

"We actually had firefighters standing on the deck using a hose and spraying from their engines," said Sean Harwood, Ogden District ranger with the Forest Service.

The fire burned more than 46 acres. As of Monday morning, the fire was 55% contained.

On Sunday, 75 firefighters were still putting out hot spots, but they had gotten a line all the way around it and are keeping it under control.

Authorities said extremely dry conditions fueled the wildfire and caused it to grow so quickly.

"We have to be so careful with everything we're doing," said Harwood. "It doesn't take much. It takes one spark and that's all this was and it will take off."

The Facers said they were grateful they got their family out in time.

"Stuff is stuff. You don't think about that. You only think about the safety of the kids," said Steve Facer.

They're also extremely thankful for all the men and women who worked so hard to save their homes.

"You just literally run for your lives and pray for those who are coming in as you're leaving. There's all these wonderful people who are coming in to save the homes," said Julie Facer. "Thank you is not enough. Thank you is not enough, but thank you."

Evacuations have been lifted, but a portion of Old Snowbasin Road is still closed and could be for the next couple of days.

The Forest Service says fire personnel will reassess the need for closures at the end of the day.

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Tania Dean

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