Though containment nears, fires still burn behind the lines

Image by Brett Barrett, St, George News

SOUTHERN UTAH – The 50-acre Pyramid Fire near Enterprise is 100 contained. The 2,450-acre West Mountain Fire is now 75 percent contained. While containment has been reached, or nears, the fires will continue to burn for a while yet.

Nick Howell, a fire information officer with the Bureau of Land Management, said the active parts of the West Mountain Fire are located on steep and rocky terrain. Firefighters are being transported by helicopter to these inaccessible areas in order to contain open and unsecure sections of fire line.

Thanks to the efforts of the fire crews on the scene,  radio towers on Utah Hill are longer threatened.

As for the Pyramid Fire, it was reported to be 100 percent contained earlier today. However, just because a fire is reported contained, it does not mean the fire has been put out.

Howell said there were two check points when being fires under control.

The first checkpoint was “containment,” this is when fire lines have been established and around the blaze and are being held. The next checkpoint is “controlled.” A “contained and controlled” fire occurs once remaining hotspots within the containment area have been extinguished or are no longer seen as a potential threat.

Mop-up and monitoring of the fires can continue for a while after containment. “It all depends on the fire,” Howell noted. In the case of the Pyramid and West Mountain fires, he said,“There could be up to a week of firefighting left.”

In some areas where the terrain in completely inaccessible to fire crews, Howell said helicopters would be sent in to either drop fire retardant or simply monitor the fire as needed.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @MoriKessler
Copyright 2012 St. George News.


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