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Evacuations lifted, but Orem fire grows to 3,000 acres

SHARE Evacuations lifted, but Orem fire grows to 3,000 acres

A tanker drops fire retardant on the Range Fire Sunday afternoon near Orem. 

Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

OREM — Residents evacuated overnight due to a wildfire at the base of Mount Timpanogos were cleared to return to their homes late Sunday morning.

Crews kept the blaze at bay during the overnight and morning hours. But in the early afternoon, the fire began “making a run to the north” and doubled in size to an estimated 3,000 acres.

No injuries were reported, but “we do have a little bit of end of season fatigue. It’s been a really long summer,” said Suzie Tenhagen, spokeswoman with the Utah Division of Forestry.

Late Saturday afternoon, about 15 homes within Provo Canyon and east of 1360 East and north of 1060 North were evacuated as they faced a “direct threat” from the blaze, firefighters said. Additional evacuations were ordered for Squaw Peak Road, and U.S. 189 was closed due to the fire and smoke affecting visibility.

No additional evacuations were expected, she said, although the fire moved back down the hill toward Nunn’s Park and the Canyon Glen Park. Crews set up structure protection in that area. But the blaze did not cross U.S. 189.

The cause of the wildfire remains under investigation.

Provo firefighters warned residents to expect poor air quality for up to 48 hours. “Please stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed. Only run your air conditioner if you have an HVAC system with a recirculate mode or close the outdoor intake damper. Avoid any strenuous activity outside,” fire officials said on Twitter.