DUCHESNE COUNTY, Utah (News4Utah) – Governor Gary Herbert Tuesday toured the damage and visited evacuees of the Dollar Ridge Fire, which is picking up more ground Tuesday because of high winds.
For evacuees of the Dollar Ridge Fire, it’s a waiting game.
“We are just undecided what we gotta do next,” said Ed Hutchins, evacuee
“I never have experienced anything like this,” said Gisela Breteron, evacuee.
Some are staying with friend and family.
“So, we are looking towards a neighbor that was on the other side of the fire line, so we can spend the night at their house,” said Hutchins.
Others along Highway 40 watch as these beloved hills burn.
Neighbors brought food, water, and other necessities to Duchesne High School where many evacuees are being housed. Some are staying in tents behind the school to be with their pets.
The Red Cross helping them says they’re in need of food and supplies as well as dog crates for displaced animals.
Governor Gary Herbert toured the devastation Tuesday. Later in the evening, he issued an executive order declaring a State of Emergency for the entire State of Utah, for Wildland Fire Management effective for July 2018.
@GovHerbert issues an Executive Order declaring a “State of Emergency” for the entire State of Utah, for Wildland Fire Management effective for the month of July 2018. #OneLessSpark pic.twitter.com/GRbtpuRa6L— Utah Fire Info (@UtahWildfire) July 4, 2018
“I’ve been able to see it up close and personal…its uh…I think we are in a good spot…better than I thought when I flew up here…but boy it can change overnight,” said Herbert.
In all, the governor estimates 20 to 30 structures damaged or destroyed by this human-caused fire which now has a taxpayer price tag of close to $2 million and climbing.
For Gisela Brereton, who survived World War II in her homeland of Germany, only this disaster compares to that scary time in her childhood as she waits to find out what’s become of her home.
“Everything is still OK…and I hope it stays that way, and if not, we have to go from there,” said Breteron.
The governor reminds everyone who has been evacuated to stay out of the evacuation zones. If you don’t, you could face fines and jail time.