ST. GEORGE — A brush fire that ignited near the South entrance of Zion National Park on the afternoon of Feb. 24 has been extinguished as of Wednesday.
The fire, reported around 4 p.m., threatened the visitors’ lot at one point, but the work of firefighters has contained it to four acres.
Las Vegas resident Kevin Mead was visiting the park and on his way to the visitors’ lot on a day with few visitors that he described as a “ghost town.” He was heading to his vehicle to leave when he saw the smoke and flames.
“We were within feet of it. We were a good 200 yards away and watched it grow and figured we better get out of the parking lot,” Mead said. “It was a decent fire.”
The National Park Service described what has been named the South Entrance Fire as “human-caused,” and the incident is still under investigation.
The fire left an area just east of the South entrance and campground charred, though no structures were damaged and there were no injuries.
Mead said the size and extent of the fire was enough that he was worried about the fire reaching the visitor’s lot.
“They stopped us from going out the exit and we had to wait it out an hour or so,” Mead said. “It was smoky enough that we couldn’t see the fire engine.”
National Park Service firefighters served as primaries on the fire, and Washington County Fire Warden Adam Heyder said that Color Country interagency firefighters also assisted.
Park officials said the South Entrance Fire, while contained, may still send smoke into the Zion sky in the coming days.
Heyder said Wednesday was a busy day for local brush firefighters, as they also battled a two-acre blaze in Kanab and a one-acre fire in LaVerkin Wednesday morning that came from a pile burn.
Update, March 3, 3:30 p.m., According to a press release issued by the park, the fire has been declared out after burning a total of some 4.5 acres.
The human-caused fire remains under investigation.
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.