ST. GEORGE — A brush fire that spread on the hillside behind the Fountain Heights apartments at 3424 S. River Road Saturday evening threatened buildings and triggered the evacuation of several apartment units.
The fire was reported around 7 p.m. with several fire crews arriving soon after, St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said.
“Witnesses say (the fire) did start quite high on the hill and worked its way down toward the apartments and also to the west up the hill,” the fire chief said.
Many apartment residents voluntarily evacuated their homes before the firefighters arrived, while others were asked to evacuate after they came on the scene. Still others, who were unable to leave due to being blocked in by fire engines, were asked to shelter in place for the time being, Stoker said.
Fire crews were quick to set up a defense between the approaching fire and the apartments and were able to knock down the fire in short order. Additional crews were sent to the top of the hill to keep the fire from spreading toward the churches and home along Brigham Road nearby.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire on the hill thanks to the dirt roads and paths that crisscross the area and acted as firebreaks, Stoker said.
The fire was largely out by 8:30 p.m. with several small spots in the burn area still smoldering and giving off smoke.
Assisting the St. George Fire Department on the call were units from the Bureau of Land Management and Dammeron Valley Fire Department. The latter was in St. George to assist with the many fireworks calls expected to come in that evening, Stoker said.
The fire is believed to be human caused.
“We did find some lighters and cell phones up in an area where we believe the origin of the fire was,” Stoker said, adding the cell phones have been given to the St. George Police Department for a follow up investigation connected to the fire.
The overall size of the fire is believed to be 5-10 acres.
No structures were damaged and no injuries were reported in connection with the fire, Stoker said, and praised the response of the Fountain Heights residents to the fire.
The residents worked with the fire crews to move vehicles out of the way so fire engines could gain closer access to the hillside blaze, while others helped keep people from getting too close during firefighting operations, Stoker said.
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