Just over a week after the Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires forced Woodland Hills and Elk Ridge residents from their homes, they returned Saturday morning.
Kim Osborn, a spokeswoman stationed at the Pole Creek Fire, said residents could go home at 9 a.m. Residents are on pre-evacuation notice, according to a news release from Utah County officials.
“They felt secure enough [with their progress on the fire] to let people back in,” Osborn said about the decision.
Those with homes in Covered Bridge are still under evacuation orders, Osborn said.
The Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires have been burning since Sept. 6 and Aug. 24, respectively, but flared up recently because of high winds. While both were confined to a only a few dozen acres when they started, as of Saturday they’ve burned a combined 118,243 acres, forcing thousands from their homes along the way.
The Pole Creek Fire is is 33 percent contained, and the Bald Mountain fire is 18 percent contained.
“Incident managers are careful to remind everyone that while significant progress has been made, there are areas that still have great concern,” the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
Those areas include Covered Bridge and and the right fork of Hobble Creek, according to the release.
Nearly 2,000 people have been assigned to fight these fires. No homes or structures have been reported destroyed.