Two major fires in Sanpete County now sharing resources

The Hilltop Fire had reached 1,830 acres and was 12 percent contained on Wednesday, August 8, 2018. Evacuations were still in place for some areas.

(KUTV) — Two major fires in Sanpete County are now sharing resources as firefighters work non-stop to try to fight these blazes.

One is still threatening many homes and forcing evacuations.

Two structures have been lost, but fire officials said they weren’t residential structures.

Those evacuated said they just have to sit back and watch the smoke plumes as they flare up every afternoon, and hope for the best.

Keith Warenski is one of the residents. He lives in the Black Hawk community and has been evacuated from his home for days.

The Hilltop fire he said nearly consumed his home, and he credits firefighters for saving it.

“Just short of them sitting right here, if it hadn’t have been for that, my place would have been gone,” he said.

Now, in his motorhome across the street from Highway 89, he watches from afar.

“It’s been a little scary to sit right here and watch where your property is and see the smoke and the fire coming at it,” Warenski said.

The Hilltop Fire grew to more than 1,830 acres on Wednesday and 150 firefighters were working on the blaze.

Fire crews also started sharing resources with another big fire nearby.

“We have one plane dropping retardant today, sharing with the nearby Coal Hollow Fire, as well as two black hawk helicopters,” said Leann Fox, a public information officer for the DNR's division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

But Fox said homes in the area aren't out of danger just yet.

“It’s always a threat, especially here when the winds pick up in the afternoon with the higher temperatures, there’s a risk involved so that’s why most of the evacuations are staying in place," she said.

For now, Warenski said he will watch and wait.

“If it should happen to go," he said, "we can see if it’s going to go if it goes.”

And he said he will keep living and move on if that happens.

“That’s what a person does, he lives his life, he enjoys it and we enjoy the mountains and if we get burned out, we just have to sit with consequences," he said.

While the two fires look very close together, fire officials said they are not concerned right now about them combining.

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