Brian Head fire grows nearly 1,000 more acres overnight

This Saturday photo shows a wildland fire threatenning the town of Brian Head, Utah, June 17, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Kim Nielson, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – The Brian Head fire tripled in size in less than 24 hours, spreading from just under a 1,000 acres yesterday afternoon to nearly 2,800 acres by Wednesday morning.

Officials said the fire made a 3-mile run to the northeast, driven by southwesterly winds.

The fire has now reached Hendrickson Lake and is moving down into Second Left Hand Canyon. It burned around the Thunder Ridge Boy Scout Camp with minimal damage occurring.

A 20-acre spot fire on the west side of Highway 143 was contained by crews at the end of the day.

Officials report that aerial firefighting will be working to douse the fire today while crews assess the best locations for success in containing the fire. Additional firefighting personnel have been ordered and should begin to arrive this afternoon.

Firefighters will be working under extreme conditions today as a red flag warning has been issued for the area predicting high temperatures, low humidity, atmospheric instability and strong winds. Winds are anticipated to be even stronger today than yesterday.

The community of Brian Head will remain under evacuation until fire managers determine it is safe for residents and visitors to return. Highway 143 remains closed from Parowan to the junction of Highway 148 near Cedar Breaks National Monument. The Dixie National Forest has issued a road and trail closure as well to prevent the public from entering the area.

The closures includes:  Marathon Trail #3224 from Forest Road 048 (Sidney Valley), Sidney Peaks Trail #3210, Mace’s Run Trail #3219, Dark Hollow Trail #3232, Hendricks Lake Trail #3249, and Forest Road 047 (Brian Head Peak Road).

Maps are available at the InciWeb website.

The Dixie National Forest will be issuing an area closure today due to the increased fire size.

The Brian Head fire started around midday Saturday and grew very quickly through dense timber on lands managed by Brian Head Town, Iron County, in cooperation with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands.  The fire has now burned onto Dixie National Forest lands also.

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Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • Caveat_Emptor June 21, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks for the update.
    It is hard to ignore the huge number of dead trees, likely caused by the bark beetle infestation, in this area, which make great fuel for a fire like this.
    As others have noted, we should never expect a firefighter to put their life on the line to save someone’s cabin. It was only three years ago that we lost 19 firefighters in the Yarnell, AZ wildfire.

    • comments June 21, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Agree, all the dead timber from these insects is a real problem. A good wild fire to blast thru there and clean all that out might be the best thing. I know that’s the worst thing to hear if your a property owner up there; time will tell. But even a healthy forest will burn like a match stick in super-dried out conditions. Sometimes all it takes is one low-iq clown out with his blow-torch burning weeds. And there’s no way one man can ever repay the loss from that much destruction. It’s just bad all around

  • voice of reason June 21, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Grows nearly 1000 more acres overnight? Let’s see. 2800 minus 1000 equals 1,800. 1,800 is more than “nearly 1000 acres”. right?
    Can we get a headline checker?

    • Paul Dail June 22, 2017 at 9:18 am

      Voice of reason, thank you for your comment and close reading. Yes, this is a little confusing. And part of that is that not all the figures have been reported in this article. Tuesday afternoon updates had the fire under 1,000 acres. However, our update in the article about the governor had a Tuesday evening 9:45 p.m. update putting the fire at approximately 1,800 acres ( And overnight, it grew to 2,800 acres, ergo 1,000-acre growth.

      Thanks again for keeping an eye on us. Sometimes in the rush for stories like this, some of the finer details are missed. And thanks for reading St. George News.

      Paul Dail
      Editor, Reporter

  • utahdiablo June 22, 2017 at 10:22 am

    And now as of this morning ( Thursday 6/22 ) it has grown to over 10,000 acres….they need to hang the ahole with the weed torch who started this disaster

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