‘It happens so quickly’: Residents recount how Knolls Fire forced abrupt evacuation

Local News

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Knolls Fire threatened more than 3,000 homes, forcing more than 13,000 people to evacuate. And some who live in the hills of the Utah County city recount their experience of having to pack up and leave.  

“We put a bunch of things together very hastily, put them in our car and took off,” said Parley Newman, who was evacuated from his home on Sunday.

“I was like, ‘Mom what should I pack?’ And she just told me to like to pack my most important things,” said Joshua Willden, who said it was scary to think he may never go home again.

Monday afternoon, officials lifted the evacuation order, allowing residents like Newman and Willden to go home, but the city noted the area is still under warning for potential evacuation.

While the wildfire is not blazing Monday, Kari Boyd-Peak , a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management, said there’s still hot pockets and to avoid the area.

“It’s not a flaming front like it was yesterday. But it’s still dangerous around the perimeters,” Boyd-Peak said.

Video ABC4 News obtained from Nicole Kay shows flames burning across the street, and neighbor Alisa Boulter said the scene was frightening.

“It happens so quickly. There wasn’t really a warning and the time, and everything just happened so quickly,” Boulter said.

Boulter, along with her son, Charlie Boulter, and some neighbors, are checking out the burn scar near their homes and recount the moments leading up to their evacuation.

“I go over to my grandma’s because my mom told me to and to record things in case it burned down and I’m just watching it and the smoke just keeps getting deeper and deeper,” Charlie Boulter said.

“We got the kids in the car and the suitcases and then my mother who lives next door – who’s in a wheelchair – and is disabled, it’s just a slower process trying to get everything that she needs,” Alisa Boulter said.

Neighbors and the Bureau of Land Management said the Knolls Fire is the third fire in the area this month, and at the time of publication, it’s unknown what sparked it.

Boyd-Peak notes Utah is “full-blown” into fire season and reminds the public to be mindful when outdoors.

What others are clicking on:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.