Wildfire updates: Middle Ridge Fire has now burned 100 acres

WASHINGTON COUNTY — Four wildfires that were apparently started by lightning strikes late Tuesday evening continue to burn as of Wednesday afternoon, while two other fire starts have been contained and controlled.

Updated 4:23 p.m. Washington County Dispatch confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the road 5 miles west of the Enterprise Reservoir turnoff, just west of Perry’s Ranch, has been shut down. The fire also has, in some areas, caused power lines to start arcing and exploding off of transformers.

No evacuations have been ordered at this time; however, officials urge everyone to avoid these areas, as the fires are growing and requiring additional resources to be combated.

Lightning strikes caused multiple fire starts Tuesday night, photo taken near Gunlock, Utah, July 1, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
Lightning strikes caused multiple fire starts Tuesday night, Gunlock, Utah, July 1, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

As of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Motoqua fire has burned 100 acres. The fire, which is officially being referred to as the “Middle Ridge Fire,” has spread mostly into Nevada and is now being handled by firefighters dispatched from Ely, Nevada.

Officials said there are now three confirmed fires near Enterprise Reservoir, which firefighters are still being worked into in order to battle the blazes. The two fires that started near Gunlock are now contained and controlled.

The St. George Communications Center confirmed there were no fires on Utah Hill. After getting a plane in the air Wednesday morning, it was determined those on the lookout tower, who had originally spotted the reported fires on Utah Hill, were actually seeing the Middle Ridge Fire.

Every year, lightning causes forest, grass and house fires across the U.S., causing an average of about 24,600 fires and costing about $407 million in damages, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

This report will be updated as additional information is received.

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