DUCHESNE COUNTY, Utah — The Dollar Ridge Fire is estimated at 52,068 acres and 45% containment Monday, and Monday afternoon more residents in evacuated areas will be allowed back.
Officials say a majority of evacuees have been allowed to return to their homes over the weekend, and as such the evacuation center set up by The American Red Cross at Duchesne High School has been closed.
Monday, the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office stated that beginning at noon, Lower Red Creek Road south of US-40 will re-open, but for residents only. The areas include Camelot Resort and Strawberry Pinnacles, but the sheriff’s office states properties in Avintaquin Canyon are not included at this time.
Proof of residency—such as a deed, tax bill or utility bill—will be required to access the area, which is not open to the public.
Travel west of Lower Red Creed Road is prohibited and anyone found in the area will be cited or arrested.
The sheriff’s office states that on Wednesday at 9 a.m., residents with property south of Currant Creek River to the Fruitland area to the ridge of Currant Creek Mountain will be allowed to access their property. Again, proof of residency will be required and the area is not open to the public. That area will remain closed until Wednesday, and road blocks are in place to block off access until Wednesday.
According to Monday’s update, seven Type 1 crews, 14 Type 2 crews, 45 engines, six helicopters, nine dozers and a total of 863 personnel are fighting the fire.
Fire officials say cloud cover and rain helped reduce fire activity in the area Sunday, but the weather also grounded air resources for most of the day. A repeat of Sunday’s weather is expected Monday, which firefighters say may help suppression efforts but could also hinder the aerial attack.
US -40 has reopened in the area again after a closure prompted by the fire, but the speed limit has been reduced between mile markers 52 and 59 and the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office says smoke will continue to reduce visibility along the highway.
A public meeting is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. at Duchesne High School, but officials stressed in Monday morning’s press release that the meeting: “will NOT give updates or status of structures in the fire area. Structure assessments are underway now and information will be shared with homeowners at meetings that will be announced within a few days.”
Duchesne County has set up an online fundraising effort for those affected by the Dollar Ridge Fire.