Residents in Sanpete County get an update on the Coal Hollow and Hilltop fires

MOUNT PLEASANT, Utah -- Residents in Sanpete County were briefed Thursday night about the Coal Hollow and Hilltop fires that are threatening their homes and property.

Friends and neighbors gathered at North Sanpete High School in Mt. Pleasant for the latest update on the two fires burning within a few miles of each other.

The Hilltop Fire that raged on earlier this week, was reported to be 61 percent contained at the meeting.

"Doesn`t mean it`s out." one resident said. "Doesn`t mean it`s stopped burning, there`s still some work left to be done."

People who own property in the path or the wake of the fires say they were shocked to see the Hilltop fire so close.

"I was in shock so I really wasn`t feeling a lot," Hilltop Fire evacuee Diana Tallmon said. "Being with them and seeing what was going on, it was kind of like a roller coaster, just thinking it would be okay and realizing oh look it`s not."

"We`re glad to see this fire`s almost out and we`re a little worried about the Coal fire," cabin owner Jeff Wallace said. "Because that is one monster going over there."

The Coal Hollow Fire, with flames firefighters say have reached over 500 feet high, jumped from 3,000 acres to more than 17,000 acres overnight, and forced mandatory evacuations in many areas.

The speed of the fire left some people feeling overwhelmed.

"Kind of helpless really. Just hoping the firefighters were going to get it done and they seemed to have done just a fantastic job."

Firefighters at the meeting said they hope the Hilltop Fire will be out within the next day or so, but the Coal Hollow fire is more complicated.

Firefighters say their main goal with the Coal Hollow Fire is just focusing on making sure it doesn`t cross the highway.