CUSTER COUNTY -- Smoke from the Halstead Fire could be seen miles away. The fire burned more than 83,000 acres and it's about five miles away from the Yankee Fork area, creeping closer every day.
"We've been just on guard like everybody else here on the Yankee Fork, just prepared to run if we need to," said Travis Hardy. Hardy's family has cabins in the Yankee Fork area.
Hardy was at his family cabin in the area when the Custer County Sheriff's Office handed out evacuation notices. He said there are about 25 summer cabins and three or four year-round residents. Those people who live there year-round might be less inclined to evacuate.
"Who knows if they're gonna leave or not. Some people are pretty dead set against leaving out of here," said Hardy.
Firefighters will stay in the evacuation area as long as they can to make sure the homes are safe. The fire is about five miles away and moving toward the evacuated area.
"You just kind of keep your fingers crossed and realize how small we are as individuals. There's not a lot we can do," he said.
As the last few campers headed out, Hardy said it felt like right before the first big snow.
"Today, I went up to the place there in Custer and it's just...eerie feeling, everything locked up, and there's nobody up there. You get a really, really creepy feeling and think, 'gosh how long do we have before this thing breaches and comes at us?' Not a good feeling at all," Hardy said.
The evacuations from Sunbeam to Casino Creek are in effect. The Thompson Creek Mine is not affected right now. Lower Stanley and Stanley are not under an evacuation notice.