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Homes evacuated as ‘Range Fire’ near Provo Canyon rages

Fire officials in Utah County have evacuated residents from homes in and at the mouth of Provo Canyon after a fire sparked Saturday afternoon and has continued growing.

The blaze — called the “Range Fire” — began around noon above Orem, near a gun range. State fire officials first estimated it had burned 15 acres. By 4:30 p.m., it was 300 acres.

Shaun Hirst, with Orem Fire Department, said he expects crews, using helicopters and other aircraft, will be trying to extinguish the fire for days and that some homes in the area are under a “direct threat.”

Homes on Squaw Peak Road, south of Provo Canyon, have been evacuated, as well at the homes at the mouth of the canyon and hunters in the area, as the fire moved east Saturday. U.S. 189, which leads into the canyon, was also closed.

Hirst said investigators are looking into the fire’s cause, but said Saturday evening that it’s unclear how it started. He noted people were training at the fire range about the time the blaze started.

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