Fire updates: Lightning strikes, new fires rage, firefighters sally forth to meet the flames

Fires on the Arizona Strip near St. George, Aug 12, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

SOUTHERN UTAH – Fires continue to burn in Washington County and on the Arizona Strip as Mother Nature continues to visit electric fury on the region. Lighting has yet again sparked a new fire, and yet again, structures are threatened. The many agencies that make up the Color Country Interagency Fire Management Area are combating the fires as best as possible, and we at St. George News wish these men and women of the Interagency the best in their efforts and safety as fire season rages on.

The Reserve Fire

The newest fire, once again ignited by lightning, is the Reserve Fire. Nick Howell, of the Bureau of Land Management, said the fire started around 11 p.m. Monday, and has since grown to 500 acres.

The fire is burning north of St. George near the Mesa Rim Trail. The blaze is active and moving east as influenced by weather conditions.

At least eight structures – one cabin and seven mobile structures – are located one-half mile from the fire and are presently threatened. Howell said a Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) and firefighters on the ground are attempting to stop the fire’s forward progression.

The fire is 10 percent contained thus far.

No evacuations or road closures are in effect, and no injuries have been reported.

The Shivwits Fire

The Shivwits Fire remains the primary target of the Color County Interagency fire responders. Lightning-triggered on Aug. 12, the fire stands at 5,100 acres and remains at 55 percent containment. It is located 6 miles northwest of Ivins and is situated in rocky, steep terrain, making fighting the blaze difficult for ground crews.

Mike Melton, fire management officer with Utah Forestry, Fire and State Lands, said the fire would be aggressively attacked by air until ground crews could establish a safe anchor point from which to tackle the fire.

The Little Pine Fire

Located 5 miles southwest of Enterprise, the Little Pine Fire has been 90 percent contained thanks to a mix of aviation and ground-based efforts. Twelve structures remain threatened by the fire, however, and Honeycomb Rocks Campground and Enterprise Reservoir area remain closed to public access. Possible closures on Hwy 120 due to fire conditions may also still occur.

Full containment is expected late Wednesday.


The Hodgets Canyon Fire

One of the fires ignited on Sunday evening, the Hodgets Fire is burning 15 miles south of St. George near Black Rock Gulch and remains at 220 acres in size. As of Tuesday the fire has been contained and controlled.

The MM19 Complex Fire

Five fires reportedly make up the MM19 Complex Fire in the Virgin River Gorge. It is located in the area of mile marker 19 on the south side of Interstate 15. The fire started Sunday and grew to 375 acres, and was visible from I-15 for a time. This fire received rains Monday night, helping lead to 100 percent containment on Tuesday.

Pigeon Canyon Fire

The largest of the fires ignited Monday is the 2,100-acre Pigeon Canyon Fire located near Grand Gulch Mine/Grand Wash Cliffs. Fire activity moderated from last night and crews are working to secure the edges.

The LeFevre Fire

The Le Fevre Fire is the second largest. The fire started on Aug. 9, and has grown to 1,058 acres. It is located 8 miles southeast of Fredonia. Ariz., off Highway 89A. Rachel Tueller, fire information officer, reported at 3:40 today that this fire was contained yesterday.

All of the above fires were triggered by lighting.

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

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