Posted: Jul 4, 2012 7:00 AM by Dennis Carlson - MTN News
Updated: Jul 4, 2012 8:00 AM
ROCKER- Fire officials say as many as 50 homes were evacuated because of a fast moving brush and forest fire that broke out south of Rocker late Tuesday afternoon.
The blaze threatened homes between the foothills and Interstate 15 as it was pushed by strong and gust winds, forcing the evacuations about 4 p.m.
Firefighters, with help from water drops from a pair of helicopters, raced to keep the fire from jumping a ranch road and a half-dozen homes among burning trees were threatened.
As the wind blew the fire into the trees, flames leapt up and firefighters just managed to save one home where the fire burned to only about 50 from the front of the structure.
"We had a couple structures up there with some people. We sent a couple trucks up to do structure protection on them. The Forest Service came in, we brought a couple of helicopters in," Boulevard Fire Chief Ed Fisheres said.
For a few hours this afternoon Audrey O'Keefe had to be evacuated from her home.
"When I started out of my place, this fire just looked like it was going to continue at a great speed. And, I have a friend who is working fire line here and he called and told me if i could to get water on my house."
Most of the evacuated homeowners were allowed back at around 6:30 p.m., but those living near the tree line were warned they may have to leave on a moment's notice.
Water drops helped to contain the fire, but shifting winds mean crews will have to keep an eye on the embers for some time.