ALPINE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Lone Peak Police now know the people responsible for starting a fire in Utah County forcing over 100 people to evacuate from their homes.
Shayne Ward, Public Information Officer for the Water Tower Fire, told ABC4 Utah late Sunday night that the people responsible have not been arrested, and that the investigation is ongoing. The mountainside Northeast of Alpine went up in flames around 8:00 p.m. Saturday.
“Last night it looked like lava, like a line of lava flowing down the mountain,” Chris Sanders said, describing the fire to ABC4 Utah’s Brittany Johnson as he looked through his telescope. “It’s a lot harder to see flames today during the day — It’s a lot more smoke.”
Sanders, who lives in Highland, was at a park with his wife and daughter, watching the progress firefighters made over the weekend.
“There’s a few crews up there — some of them are cutting lines. There’s another guy that’s been directing the helicopters in to drop water,” said Sanders.
According to a fact sheet tweeted out by the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, the Water Tower Fire has burned 397 acres and was 25 percent contained as of 8:00 Sunday night. It has cost $300,000 to battle the flames, which are said to be “human-caused.”
“Whoever started it, if it was human caused, I’m sure they feel awful and didn’t mean to do it,” Sanders said.
The people living in the area forced to evacuate, are now allowed to go back inside. All 25 homes are still under close watch.
Firefighters have been using nearby drop sites to help gain control of the flames.
“That’s huge,” Ward told reporters during a briefing Sunday afternoon. “The faster we can get these aircraft to turn around — dip drop dip drop — it’s big. It makes a large difference.” Ward went on to say, “We’re not letting this thing burn at all. We’re getting anybody from airplanes in the skies, helicopters, to crews on the ground, engines on the ground, anything we can to get this out.”
Fire officials want to remind people that smoke will be visible for many days as firefighters continue to contain and control the fire.