EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah (ABC 4 News) - More than 9,000 people were evacuated from Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs on Friday, as a wildfire spread quickly, due to shifting winds.
The Dump Fire, which began on Thursday had already burned more than 750 acres
by Friday morning, but the size more than doubled to 1,400 acres by the early afternoon and ballooned to more than 4,000 acres by the early evening. As of Saturday morning, the acreage was reported at 6,023 acres. Bureau or Land Management officials say the fire started when a bullet hit a rock and sparks flew into a landfill located in the Lake Mountains.
Officials also ordered road closures south of 400 North on Highway 68 all the way through Saratoga Springs.
The evacuations started in Kiowa Valley area east of Highway 68 and north along Grandview to the Pony Express Parkway.
Officials estimated that approximately 250 homes located between Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs were part of the initial mandatory evacuation. That estimate included nearly 1,400 people affected by midday.
By Friday afternoon, the number of homes evacuated was estimated to be more than 500. One Utah County Sheriff's official estimated that around 800 homes were evacuated, affecting more than 3,000 people.
By Friday evening, one Eagle Mountain city official told ABC 4 News that approximately 1,000 homes and 9,200 people had evacuated, including mandatory and voluntary evacuated areas.
As of Saturday morning, Incident Information was reporting that the total number of homes under mandatory evacuation totaled at 588: 394 in Saratoga Springs and another 194 in Eagle Mountain. Two additional homes were evacuated late Friday night on the Eagle Mountain side of the fire due to active fire behavior.
Evaluations are being conducted to determine if evacuations can be lifted as early as Saturday evening.
Evacuees were asked to go to Westlake High school at 99 North Thunder Blvd. in Saratoga Springs. Alternate evacuation centers were established at Vista Heights Middle School on 484 West Pony Express and at an LDS church on 3332 East Windhover.
Some organizations also offered pet and livestock evacuation services, including See Spot Eat, a non profit temporary housing organization for pets at 94 South 700 East in American Fork. Interested parties were asked to call 801-709-3410 to arrange pick up.
Of great concern was an animal refuge within the evacuation zone where several animals from dogs and cats to horses, llamas and other exotic creatures were staying.
Volunteers showed up throughout the day and into the evening to help move the animals to a safe site.
Eagle Mountain officials say the Kiowa Valley subdivision was placed under a mandatpry evacuation, while Eagle Top, Fremont Springs and Silverlake subdivisions were given voluntary options and placed on alert.
A Utah County Sheriff's official said that law enforcement personnel were escorting some residents back into the evacuated areas to retrieve medical prescriptions and pets.
Fire officials said that the fire already came within 1/2 mile of some homes, but missed a nearby explosives plant.
One firefighter was injured, but had only superficial burns to his hands.
Eagle Mountain officials also clarified the boundaries of the evacuation to include any homes south of the Pony Express Parkway, east of Smith Ranch Road, all the way east to Redwood Road.
Utah fire officials offered a public information line for residents affected by the fire at 801-789-6600.
Another line has been set up primarily for evacuees at 801-935-0720, but residents are encouraged to check their city's Facebook pages for the most updated information.
Fire officials asked residents to avoid calling 911 regarding the Dump Fire unless it is an emergency. They also asked people to stay away from the area to avoid traffic congestion.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) later authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Dump Fire.
FEMA funding will be available to pay 75 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs for managing, mitigating and controlling the fire, although the grants will not provide assistance to individual home or business owners and do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire.
BLM officials say crews were expected to work through the night and are anticipating complete containment by June 26.
As of Saturday morning, officials said the fire was 30 percent contained, and had burned an estimated 6,023 acres.
That number has since been downgraded to 5,507 acres burned and is at 75 percent containment as of Sunday evening.
Stay tuned to ABC 4 News and ABC4.com for more on this story.