August 2, 2008

72 Homes Evacuated As Spring Lake Fire Grows

By Lindsay Whitehurst, The Salt Lake Tribune

Aug. 2--The Spring Lake fire ripped through 700 acres Friday, forcing the evacuation of 72 homes and a Boy Scout camp.

The fire has more than tripled in size since it started about 3:30 p.m. Friday and shows no signs of being contained anytime soon.

"It's going to be here for a while," said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Loyal Clark.

No buildings burned, and people evacuated from 12 homes in Spring Lake and 60 in Payson were all allowed to return by midnight Friday.

The Boy Scouts at the 400-person Maple Dell camp were sent home, though many of had already left when the evacuation order came down, Clark said.

The fire likely started when a power line went down on a flat east of Spring Lake, though what caused it to come down is still being investigated, Clark said. Fed by gusty winds, the fire immediately began to spread and forced the evacuation of 12 homes in Spring Lake.

Two helicopters, three air tankers and about 200 firefighters from local agencies from Springvale to Goshen battled the blaze as it ran up the mountain that is south of the "P" for Payson mountain and down the slopes close to a subdivision, forcing the evacuation of 60 homes there about 9 p.m.

Hot spots continued to burn near Spring Lake and in the mountains above Payson Saturday, and two 20-person crews continued to fight the fire along with two helicopters.


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