This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Mount Pleasant • Just as firefighters were getting a handle on three Utah wildfires, another blaze destroyed perhaps dozens of homes in Sanpete County.
About 575 homes and structures are in the path of the Wood Hollow Fire and were evacuated Sunday. It wasn't clear how many of them had been burned.
Congressman Jason Chaffetz, who toured the area near Indianola late Sunday, said "dozens of homes" were destroyed.
"Some homes were still smoldering and burning," Chaffetz said.
Sanpete County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Zeeman said 25 to 30 structures had caught fire. "It's safe to assume some of those are homes," Zeeman said.
Gary Arnoldson, president of the Mount Pleasant Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, said homes and flocks of sheep had been burned in Indianola and the subdivision of Oaker Hills.
"We have lost a lot of animals and homes," Arnoldson said.
It wasn't clear how many people were displaced, but Red Cross workers were preparing for 500 people at an evacuation center at North Sanpete High School in Mount Pleasant.
No evacuees were there late Sunday. Arnoldson said his parishioners were opting to stay with relatives in nearby communities.
The Wood Hollow Fire ignited Saturday a mile south of Fountain Green. In 24 hours, the blaze charred 39,000 acres and moved 18 miles.
Winds pushed flames northeast across U.S. Highway 89 toward the community of Indianola. Smoke filled the skies and hampered visibility in Sanpete and Utah counties. By late Sunday, the fire was only 4 percent contained.
Mandatory evacuations orders were issued for Indianola, Oaker Hills and a string of other communities and subdivisions along Highway 89 on the north end of Sanpete County, including Water Hollow, Hideaway Valley, Panorama Heights, Baldy, Elk Ridge, Big Hollow and Indian Ridge.
Meanwhile, Highway 89 was closed north of Fairview to the Utah County.
Aircraft dropped water and retardant on the fire Sunday. A team of state- and federally-controlled firefighters are scheduled to take control of operations early Monday.
Authorities have said humans caused the blaze, but what exactly sparked it remained under investigation.
The Wood Hollow Fire spread on what was one of the hottest, windiest and driest days yet in an already combustive 2012. Temperatures reached 100 degrees in Salt Lake City and Provo.
"The fuels are extremely dry," Carpenter said. "You didn't have the normal snowpack. This area has also accumulated grasses."
Despite adverse conditions, firefighters made gains in controlling three other blazes in Utah.
Utah County's Dump Fire • As of Sunday night, the fire was 40 percent contained and had burned 6,023 acres. The blaze was burning about 1.5 miles south of Saratoga Springs.
On Friday, the blaze prompted mandatory evacuations of thousands of residents living in the Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs areas. Those evacuations were lifted Saturday, and residents were allowed to return home.
Sparked by two target shooters on Thursday afternoon, the fire burned within a half-mile or closer of some homes before firefighters turned the blaze back into more remote grasslands and mountain ridges of juniper and pinyon late Friday.
Millard County's Grease Fire • Interagency Fire Center spokesman Don Carpenter said the 16,400-acre blaze was 90 percent contained Sunday night, and fire crews were monitoring it to make sure it was out. He said officials watching the fire didn't see any signs of smoke.
The blaze scorched land in a remote, sparsely populated region of sage and grasslands in the Sevier Desert.
No structures were burned and no injuries had been reported. Carpenter said fire crews did lose an ATV while fighting the fire.
About 50 firefighters worked to "herd the fire into irrigated fields and sinkholes" that dot the area, Carpenter said, but otherwise were just watching the fire for any perimeter hot spots or flare-ups.
He said humans caused that fire, which started next to a highway, but investigators were trying to determine what exactly sparked it.
Washington County's Quail Creek Fire • The fire is 90 percent contained and there are no evacuations or road closures.
The fire has burned 1,708 acres. About 60 homes were evacuated Saturday, but those evacuations were lifted early Sunday.
The grass fire that started at 2:50 p.m. Saturday east of Interstate 15 and Leeds destroyed two sheds. However, firefighters were able to save several homes that were threatened.
One firefighter was taken to a hospital for treatment and later released after suffering from a heat-related illness.
Authorities said the fire was caused by a person burning cheatgrass.
Cimaron Neugebauer contributed to this report.
Weather • Utah temps top records
Utah sizzled Sunday as cities nudged or topped heat records. Temperatures are expected to be a bit cooler Monday. › B10