'Watching a dream go up in smoke:' Dozens of homes destroyed by Dollar Ridge Fire

Evacuated Duchesne County residents watched helplessly as the Dollar Ridge Fire tore through acres of land on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, destroying everything in its path. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — Gloria Dearden worked hard for her little sanctuary in the mountains, and as the Dollar Ridge Fire raged, she said she felt confident it would survive the 30,000-acre behemoth burning near her cabin.

Unfortunately, around lunch time, winds shifted and the fire engulfed her retreat.

“It’s hard," Dearden said. "Your little space, your little sanctuary from the real world — and it's gone."

As Dearden’s home burned, Carolyn Davis watched as fire danced around hers.

“It was my dream,” said Davis, who, along with her husband, purchased land in these mountains nearly two decades ago. The couple, side by side, built their cabin by hand.

Davis feared that by Wednesday her cabin would be gone.

“It’s watching a dream go up in smoke,” she said.

Firefighters say the battle against the Dollar Ridge Fire has, so far, been a losing one.

Winds have been blown hard for three days straight, making it hard for aircraft to fight the fire in the sky. Crews have also had to keep their distance because of the unpredictability of the blaze.

“It’s difficult to have any impact on the fire,” said Jason Curry, who is directing the media outreach for state fire officials. He said the winds have made it difficult to battle “a lot of fairly dramatic fire activity."


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