'Like going into World War III:' Residents get first look at Dollar Ridge Fire destruction
(KUTV) — Residents continued to filter into a local church throughout the day on Tuesday, anxious to get a first look at find the fate of their homes.
At least 80 homes were destroyed or damaged, according to reports from the Duchesne County Sheriff's Office. Some evacuees were allowed back home on Monday, but many more did not find out if they lost their homes until Tuesday.
“It’s like you’re going into World War III — everything is destroyed, there’s not one thing salvageable — not one thing," said Ken Wallace, who got a first look at his destroyed home on lower Red Creek Road on Tuesday.
Wallace said he had worked hard on his home, building on and off for the last 15 years.
“It was all land when I got it," Wallace said. "I put my life blood into that place.”
Still, there may be a couple more dozen damaged homes unaccounted for, officials said.
“There’s a lot of people hurting, you know,” Wallace said. "It’s just tragic."
work on the fire had moved to a more remote area of Wasatch County on Tuesday, said Mike Ericksson, the area manager for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.
Officials announced Tuesday night that the fire is now 50 percent contained, and work on the fire had moved to a more remote area of Wasatch County, where fewer homes would be in the path of destruction.
“It’s just material things that can be replaced — we will rebuild our lives," Wallace said. "Nobody died, you've got to be grateful for that, you know."
Anyone looking to help victims of the fire can donate to the Dollar Ridge Victim Relief Fund at any Mountain America Credit Union or on the Duchesne County website.