As crews fight Utah wildfire, evacuations may last weeks

Latest areas affected by the Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires in Utah County. Graphic courtesy of inciweb.com

SPANISH FORK, Utah (AP) — Local officials say two Utah wildfires could keep evacuees out of their homes for weeks.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office and the mayor of Elk Ridge warned Monday that 6,000 residents could be ordered to stay away for at least two weeks.

Firefighters say the lightning-caused fires near Spanish Fork have more or less merged.

Crews are concerned the wildfire could spill over a ridgeline into the Covered Bridge subdivision. Continuing high winds, warmer temperatures and low humidity are expected Monday.

The Utah Highway Patrol says the fire jumped Highway 6 on Sunday, forcing additional evacuations. Three other communities were evacuated last week.

The highway remains closed.

Together, the fires have already burned 135 square miles (350 square kilometers).

The fire is only 2 percent contained.

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