Related: Mandatory evacuation map
ALPINE — The Quail Fire, which forced hundreds of residents to evacuate Tuesday, continued to burn out of control Wednesday.
Revised estimates indicated the fire had burned nearly 2,000 acres and 5 percent of the blaze was contained as of Wednesday evening. Fire officials had initially said the wildfire had burned 5,000 acres, but that figure was downgraded.
Approximately 300 fire personnel are battling the fire, but with a Type 2 team taking command Thursday morning, crews were hoping to get a better handle of the fire then.
That team becomes the sixth Type 2 team in Utah fighting fires. Type 2 firefighting teams are regionally managed and provide additional state and federal help, including additional planning assistance and overhead to attack fires.
Crews were focused on the south end of the Quail Fire Wednesday and dry fuel in the area put a lot more smoke into the air.
The majority of the burn was occurring about a mile east of Alpine. Wednesday evening, the fire was mostly burning in Willow Canyon and moving south toward the mouth of American Fork Canyon but was not directly endangering any homes.
American Fork Canyon will remain closed at least through Thursday, officials said.
Mandatory evacuations were issued Tuesday for about 500 homes. Just before noon on Wednesday, however, the evacuation order was lifted for about 150 homes west of Country Manor Lane from 300 North south to Oak Hills Drive and Moon Lane and 25 additional households were allowed to return later in the afternoon.
Cyndy Parkinson was among those allowed to return to her house on Meadow Circle. She could still see large plumes of smoke and flames from her yard, but was glad to be back.
"I'm a little less worried since they said we could get back into our house," she said. "They must not be as worried."
The view, however, still caused her concern. "If (the fire) got down and got to one house, then these houses would be like kindling. It would just go from one to the next," she said.
Parkinson "didn't sleep real good" Tuesday night, worrying that she could lose her house and everything in it.
"(In the heat of the moment) you wonder if you should be running around grabbing everything, but if you've got your family — you've got the most valuable thing," she said.
For resident Richard Starley, his wait was longer. No one from his neighborhood had been given permission to return Wednesday evening, but he remained optimistic.
"Everybody is just being patient and hoping that they get this (fire) under control so that we can return home," he said.
Starley and his family were sitting in their home Tuesday when they heard sirens.
While the sounds did draw their attention, they had no reason that it would be cause for alarm. Not long afterwards, a neighbor called and told him to look outside.
"We looked out the window and could see the flames and the smoke," Starley said. "We were out in the front yard (when) the police drove by and told us that we needed to evacuate."
Starley, his wife and two sons "gathered up some personal belongings and loaded them up into the car not knowing if we would be able to return or not."
"We were quite concerned," he said.
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