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Round Peak Fire keeps burning as boulder nearly crashes into houses

SPRINGVILLE — As crews continue to battle the Round Peak fire, nearby residents learned that flames aren't the only danger to watch out for — a large boulder loosened by the blaze nearly crashed into houses below.

"We have a lot of hazards we have to look out for," Forest Service spokeswoman Kim Osborn said Wednesday. "That could have been an act of nature, it just coming down the hill."

Osborn said the boulder rolled down the hill when the fire loosened vegetation around it. It's one of the many hazards — along with rattlesnakes, heat exhaustion and falling trees — of fighting wildfires, she said.

Officials say a boulder lodged in a clump of oak burning in the Round Peak Fire dislodged and rolled downhill, hitting Pat Knowlden's front porch in Springville on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.
Officials say a boulder lodged in a clump of oak burning in the Round Peak Fire dislodged and rolled downhill, hitting Pat Knowlden's front porch in Springville on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Several families in the Springville neighborhood down the hill from the blaze got a scare on Tuesday when rocks came loose and rolled down toward the houses. One of the rocks stopped by a grove of trees, but the larger boulder rolled directly between two houses before landing on Pat Knowlden's front porch.

"The house shook really bad and I said to my husband, 'I think there’s been an explosion,'" Knowlden said.

Don Meyers said he and his wife and kids were watching the firefighting efforts when they noticed the rocks crashing down toward them.

"It was scary," Meyers said. "We were moving to get out of the way because we were afraid they were coming right into our house."

The larger rock took a bounce, however, and ended up going between the two houses before landing on Knowlden's porch.

"I think most of the neighbors around here think it was more than luck, that it was a blessing," Meyers said.

The fire was 235 acres and about 40% contained as of Wednesday afternoon, according to Osborn. There were 130 firefighters battling the blaze

"Things are looking really good," Osborn said.

Contributing: Felicia Martinez