Electric skies strike and ignite Washington County, new and ongoing fires

Fires looking west, from milepost 14, off Old Highway 91 | Photo by Patrick Fox for St. George News

Updated at 5:19 p.m. to reflect new information concerning the Shivwits Fire.

SOUTHERN UTAH – While lightning sparked new fires on the Arizona Strip, the electric bolts of pyromania also paid Southern Utah another visit. New fires ignited near Utah Hill and Virgin Sunday night. Amid the new fires, the Little Pine Fire also continues to burn.

Shivwits Fire

Located 6 miles northwest of Ivins, the lightning-triggered Shivwits Fire has grown to 4,000 acres since its ignition Sunday evening. According to Mike Melton, fire management officer with Utah Forestry, Fire and State Lands, the fire is situated in steep and rocky terrain that is proving resistant to fire suppression efforts.

Melton added the fire is being aggressively attacked from the air, and should allow for ground based assets to establish a safe anchor point to work from in order to contain the fire over the next few days.

Multiple firefighting agencies are involved in combating the blaze. Due to the number of fires all across the West, completion for firefighting resources is extreme and managers have to set priorities as to which fire will receive the resources available.

The Shivwits Fire is currently the number one priority fire in southwest Utah and northeast Arizona.

 The fire is currently 0 percent contained.

Dalton Wash Fire

Lightning also started a fire in the Dalton Wash near Virgin. Smoke was visible Sunday evening, though Roach said fire crews expect to have the fire 100 percent contained by the end of their shift Monday.

Little Pine Fire

The 2,300-acre Little Pine Fire near Enterprise is now 25 percent contained. Allison Farrow, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management, said estimated containment of the fire is set for end of the business day, Wednesday, Aug. 15.

Aviation resourses have aided in quelling hot spots within the containment zone, while fire crews continue to establish a perimeter and engage in mop-up efforts.

The Honeycomb Rocks Campground and the Enterprise Reservoir areas remain closed to public access. Depending on fire conditions, closure of Highway 120 may also take place.

Twelve structures also remain threatened by the fire.


Smoke seen from the fires at Utah Hill, Aug. 12, 2012 | Photo by Stacy Garvin, St. George News
Fires near Utah Hill as seen from Kayenta, Aug. 12, 2012 | Photo by Patrick Fox, St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.


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