Southern Utah wildfire updates; West Valley Fire officials call second community meeting

Fire on the west flank of the West Valley Fire, Washington County, Utah, July 2018 | Photo courtesy of InciWeb, map courtesy of the Color Country Fire Interagency, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Wildfires in parts Southern Utah continue to burn as the red flag fire weather warning issued earlier this week is extended through Thursday evening.

The warning means that critical fire weather conditions are occurring or imminent, and a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and high temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

This information helps warn firefighting and land management agencies that conditions are ideal for wildland fires ignition and rapid spread.

Map of the area of the West Valley Fire, Washington County, Utah, July 4, 2018 | Graphic courtesy of the Color Country Fire Interagency, St. George News | Click to enlarge

West Valley Fire

The West Valley Fire is currently at 10,836 acres and 8 percent contained as of Wednesday morning. Located 10 miles north of St. George, the fire was human caused and over 600 personnel from multiple agencies are fighting it. No evacuations have been ordered.

There will be a community meeting on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Pine Valley Fire Station.

“We would like to thank everyone that came to the meeting in New Harmony,” fire managers said in an update on the fire. “We estimated there were over 100 people. Excellent were questions and we were given useful ideas. Knowledge of the local area is always appreciated by our fire crews and those assisting on the fire.”

Read more: West Valley Fire officials update New Harmony residents on fire status

Structure protection groups are in place around the fire. They are prepping and assessing potential areas at risk. Fire managers urge homeowners to clear the vegetation away from their homes.

Clear any firewood placed next to your home, as a single ember can land and start a fire. There are many programs, such as FIREWISE, that can provide information to help you prepare.

Emergency area, road and trail closures remain in effect.

Smoke may be highly visible Wednesday.

Black Mountain Fire

The fire has burned nearly 6,000 acres in Iron and Beaver counties and is 98 percent contained as of Wednesday afternoon, according to an update issued by Nick Howell, Black Mountain Fire information officer.

It will be the final update unless “significant changes occur.”

Located three miles south of Minersville, the fire was caused by a vehicle accident.

Read more: Black Mountain Fire spares Minersville, but still actively burning; officials determine cause

Smoke from the Willow Patch Fire, Sevier County, Utah, July 3, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, St. George News

While the fire remains in the vicinity the town and one seasonal cabin and a communications tower remain threatened until full containment is achieved. No evacuations have been ordered.

There are no road closures in effect, but all roads leading into the fire will require a fire personnel escort to ensure firefighter and public safety.

Willow Patch Fire

The Willow Patch Fire is currently 4,788 acres and is 60 percent contained as of Wednesday morning, according to Utah Department of Natural Resources fire information officer Beth McClanahan.

Located in Sevier County, the fire is nine miles east of Richfield and was human-caused. Over 240 personnel from multiple agencies are involved in fighting the fire.

There are no road closures in effect, but all roads leading into the fire will require a fire personnel escort to ensure firefighter and public safety. Motorists traveling on state Route 24 are encouraged to keep driving and not to stop to look at fire activity or equipment.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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