DUCHESNE COUNTY, Utah (News4Utah) – For a few hours, residents who lived or owned property in a small portion south of Highway 40 could go home, despite the threat of the burning Dollar Ridge Fire.
“It’s kind of a mad dash,” said Vince Harris, who owns an unfinished cabin in Mayberry Estates. “We only have until 1 p.m.”
Those with property south of US-40, east of Lower Creek Rd. and north of Strawberry River Road were allowed back into their homes for a few hours to gather “essentials” or other items, according to an announcement by the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office.
“I decided that I would go and try to get what I could,” Harris said. “Or if it was already burned by the time I got here, I would kick through the ashes when it was cooled down.”
Harris, a recording artist from Nashville who owns property in Utah, said four of the cabins he helped build had surely burned in the fire, which had scorched more than 40,000 acres Wednesday. Harris, who is known as Elijah Vincent in the recording world, is planning to drop a full album in the coming weeks. What would be a time of excitement has now turned to nervousness, as he climbs through his unfinished cabin picking up toys his young daughter left behind last year.
“I’m sure she’d appreciate if I grabbed some of these,” he says as he dumps “My Little Pony” and “Cabbage Patch” dolls into a basket. He’s already saved other items from the last time he was here about a year ago.
Others were grateful to get in their cabins so they could save important prescriptions.
“They let us in, we just had to get all the perishables, stuff like that…medication,” said Steve Lopez.
Everyone had to check back in with Duchesne deputies by 1 p.m.