Dollar Ridge Fire grows to 47,683 acres; US 40 open again near Strawberry Reservoir

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DUCHESNE COUNTY, Utah -- The Dollar Ridge Fire grew to 47,683 acres overnight and remains 4 percent contained Friday night.

The fire has already destroyed as many as 90 homes and nearly 1,000 more are at risk. Hundreds of people have been evacuated. 

Utah Department of Transportation spokesman, John Gleason, said US 40 reopened at 6 p.m. Friday.

It had been closed from mile marker 50 east of Strawberry Reservoir to mile marker 85, just past the Freedom Bridge.

Even though Highway 40 is open, the speed limit is 35 mph in the area affected by the fire, and there will be no stopping allowed from milepost 56 to 59.

The Utah Highway Patrol will strictly enforce the speed limit and no stopping rule.

Fox 13 reporter, John Franchi, and photographer, Mark Less, obeyed the rules, by driving the speed limit and not stopping.

To show what it's like along the fire impacted stretch of highway, they attached a GoPro camera to their vehicle.

As of Friday there are six Type 1 crews, 12 Type 2 Crews, 24 engines, 13 helicopters and six dozers for a total of 643 personnel fighting the fire.

"Firefighters' goal today was to secure lines that have already been established to make sure they are mopping up the area and getting the fire cooled off," Fire Information Officer, Tammy Shroyer said.

The Duchesne County Sheriff's Office said Friday that evacuees with property located east of Sam's Wash Road to the west side of Starvation Reservoir may briefly access their property Friday after checking in with deputies. All individuals must be out of the evacuation zone again by 1 p.m.

Click here for specific details on accessing property in the evacuation zone. 

Duchesne County has also set up a Dollar Ridge Victim Relief Fund. Donations can be made here.  A shelter for evacuees has been set up by the American Red Cross at Duchesne High School.

Smoke from the Dollar Ridge Fire is creating air quality issues in several counties in Utah, including Salt Lake and Utah counties.

The Dollar Ridge fire began July 1 and is believed to be human caused, though the exact cause is still under investigation.

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