CBS/AP September 17, 2018, 10:04 PM 2 Utah wildfires have burned more than 87,000 acres combined


Two Utah wildfires had burned 87,000 acres combined by Monday night, CBS Salt Lake City affiliate KUTV reports. The fires were started by lightning within Unita National Forest; Pole Creek started Sept. 6 and is 2 percent contained and Bald Mountain began on August 24 and is 0 percent contained.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says the next few days are critical as firefighters try to keep a raging wildfire away from hundreds of homes. Herbert spoke Friday evening after meeting with fire officials at the fairgrounds in Spanish Fork.

The fires came within half a mile of merging when the fires were mapped Saturday afternoon. The major concern is the Pole Creek Fire jumped across Highway 6. It has burned one shed and hundreds of livestock, but no homes or lives have been lost.

"This is not a sprint. It's a marathon," said Herbert in a Monday briefing with the media. "It's going to take come time to get this fire out."

The governor says if the winds stay down, crews will have a good chance at staying on top of the blaze.

Hundreds of residences have been evacuated in Woodland Hills, Elk Ridge and Covered Bridge.

More than 430 people are working on the Pole Creek Fire, which has grown to more than 68,000 acres. Herbert says that figure will likely grow to 1,000 as more aircraft and ground crews get in place.

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