By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Hanna residents were allowed to return to their homes Sunday after the town was evacuated because of a wildfire burning approached the town’s city limits.
The town’s 722 residents were forced to flee Saturday in the face of a rapidly growing wildfire that reached 7,500 acres before its advance toward the town could be stopped.
According to a Facebook post by Gov. Mark Gordon, the 316 Fire grew to 15,000 acres by Sunday.
Faced with winter storm warnings and forecasts of snow by Tuesday, Black Hills Energy technicians visited homes in the community to make sure natural gas service was back online, according to the Carbon County Office of Emergency Management.
The gas service had been shut off Saturday at the request of firefighters to protect against explosions.
“The process of bringing customers back on to the system requires several steps,” said Bow Secrest, gas operations manager for Black Hills Energy. “We must first make sure all gas meters are off, then purge the system so that it’s ready for the reintroduction of the natural gas supply.”
The Office of Emergency Management warned residents that they may smell natural gas as the lines are purged.