FRUITLAND, Duchesne County — As firefighters increase containment of the Dollar Ridge Fire, residents in areas of the evacuation zone can soon return to their homes, Duchesne County Sheriff's Office announced on Monday.
About 470 firefighters were still fighting the human-caused blaze, which has burned more than 56,700 acres and was 85 percent contained Monday.
The evacuation order will change to pre-evacuation status at noon on Tuesday for residents with property along 11500 South, Strawberry River Road west of Camelot, and in Timber Canyon, officials said, allowing property owners to return to their homes.
Residents will not be required to leave their homes "unless it becomes necessary to evacuate the area again for their safety," the office said.
Only property owners will be able to go to those areas beginning Tuesday. Officials hope to open the areas back up to the public "on or about" July 25, the estimated containment date for the fire, according to officials.
Firefighters Monday were continuing to build an "indirect fire line" on the uncontained southwestern side of the fire.Comment on this story
"This is an area of the fire where a lot of bug-killed timber is still standing and posing a threat to firefighters, so an indirect line is the safest option," state fire officials reported in a press release.
With warmer weather and less humidity expected in coming weeks, officials said smoke from the fire would continue to be visible but shouldn't pose a threat to the public or to buildings as the smoke is "in the interior of the fire area."
However, if someone spots fire burning outside the containment line, they should contact fire officials, the release stated.