As of Thursday morning, weather conditions for the Rockport 5 fire were rather calm but crews are seeing things pick up internally with the fire.
Rockport 5 fire Incident Commander Bryce Boyer addressed the media in Wanship Thursday morning to say that crews have re-positioned themselves on the fire and have gotten fire engines and water tenders in to concentrate on the Rockport Estates area. All of the 14 homes destroyed Boyer added were located in the Rockport Estates and Rockport Ranches areas.
"Today we have Summit County dozers in working on the north flank between Rockport Estates, Rockport Ranches and Bridge Hollow," Boyer said. "The fire is still at 25 percent containment, primarily along the State Road 32 corridor where there's not the vegetation to be burned any longer."
Authorities will wait until 6 p.m. tonight to make a final determination on whether to allow people to go back to their homes. However, Summit County Sheriff's Sergeant Ron Bridge, a public information officer for the fire, said that they will be allowing individuals to go back to their homes with a deputy escort to retrieve only pets and items that are necessary to sustain life, such as medications.
"The Sheriff's Office understands it is a difficult time to be displaced from your home," Bridge said. "Everybody is emotionally charged."
Boyer said the fire has not spread since last night and is still at roughly 1,920 acres. He added that there is still substantial heat and the potential for fire growth. Further, the planned burnouts on the Promontory and Bridge Hollow sides of the hill both held last night.
Air resources are still on hand for the fire and Boyer said they have three Black Hawk helicopters, two interagency fire helicopters and several steed aircraft, or smaller water tankers, and one larger air tanker.
The Rockport 5 fire is the first-ranked fire in the state, and Boyer says they will be receiving additional fire engines and water tenders. Currently, the crews are a 50/50 mix of local/county forces and national forces.
Bridge added that Rockport State Park is currently open. However, no one is allowed on Rockport Reservoir. Campsites are open to the public, and he says many people have gathered there.
If any residents of Rockport Estates, Promontory, Rockport Ranches and Bridge Hollow to retrieve pets or items necessary to sustain life, call the Summit County Sheriff's Office Dispatch line at 435-615-3500.