‘Trail Fire’ in Dixie National Forest 60 percent contained

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Firefighters have been have been battling a wildfire in the Dixie National Forest portion of the Pine Valley wilderness since Sunday. Called the Trail Fire, the blaze is located west of New Harmony and is at an elevation of 9,000 feet. It it is believed to have been ignited by lightning.

“Aggressive actions were taken to hold the fire in place due to high potential for it to grow and move into some very rough, inaccessible ground which would have been very risky for firefighters to work in,” Dixie National Forest Fire Management Officer Kevin Greenhalgh said.

The fire is estimated to be 2-acres in size and is 60 percent contained as of 6:30 p.m., Thursday. Full containment is expected by Friday evening.

Air tankers were initially used to fight the fire and keep it in check until firefighters could be flown in. As of Wednesday 15 firefighters, and multiple air-attack resources are engaged in combating the blaze. That number swelled to 35 firefighters on the scene by Thursday evening

Jamie Davis, information officer for the Trail Fire, said the fire had received rain from the storms in the region Thursday as well.

Davis also said a 20-member hotshot team would be flown into the area Friday to help with the fire.

Fuels being consumed by the fire include conifer trees, as well as heavy dead and downed materials.

So far no road closures or evacuations have been issued, no structures are threatened, and no injuries have been reported.

One firefighter was reported injured due to dehydration.

Upated: 6:45 p.m., July 11, 2013

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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8 Comments

  • deborah July 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Well, I always took it for granted how dangerous these guys jobs were. I would think there are so many fail-safes to keep them safe.. I hear of “flashovers” like in the movies but I think “That probably isn’t’ completely how it is, that is just the movies”.. I always think if they get encircled in, a big helicopter will fly in and save them.. I have always though they are actually 1500 to 3500 feet from the fire and never get close enough for their lives to be in danger.. I have been so naive.. after the hotshot team we lost last week, my mind now is full of images of hardworking daredevils, getting too close to fires, risking life n limb and so much more.. these guys are truly amazing.. and reading this article I began to worry immediately for this “hotshot” team in a way I have never worried.. I guess I just wrote a long paragraph to say, “reality just set in”.. I pray all our firefighters stay so safe this season..

  • Lillith Goby July 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    The article should have read the Pine Valley Wilderness area of the Dixie National Forest though the mistake is easy since all Forest lands seem to be tending towards being wilderness in management policies IMO.

    That they are finally putting out the fires instead of
    managing” and guessing at their direction of flow is a positive. Tinder dry desert mountains and their threatened towns and oxygen producing trees should be managed differently than one size fits all Yellowstone is better after its fire style.

    Rough country then maybe cougar and rattlesnake dens are threatened. The “burn, baby, burn” environmental pop culture style just doesn’t make sense in first place since the ecology of a forest is changed.

  • Bender July 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Lillith, The amount of deadfall in the higher elevations of the Pine Valley Mountains is breathtaking. Most of it will eventually burn and it won’t be the fault of the environmentalists. 100 years of fire suppression has created a craggy tinderbox covering a huge expanse.

  • Men Love Darkness Rather than Light July 11, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    “The fire is estimated to be 2-acres in size…” Should there be some additional digits there?

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic July 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Nope. According to the update provided today, it is still assessed at 2 acres. But MLDRTL, it is in difficult terrain and the concern is its potential to grow. It is currently listed at 60 percent containment. (10 p.m. July 11.)
      ST. GEORGE NEWS | STGnews.com
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • Men Love Darkness Rather than Light July 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Joyce, re: the 2-acres. Their report surely is incorrect. With the potential of 55 firefighters on scene that means each fire fighter has about 1600 sq. ft. of space per. The air tankers can easily drench many acres in a single drop. One helicopter could douse that fire with specific drops.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic July 12, 2013 at 5:56 am

      MLDRTL, my logic does not disagree with yours. Every report delivered us and published has said 2 acres. That said, we’ll shake some bushes and see what flies out. It could be regeneration of an initial error. Stand by? 😀
      Joyce
      EIC

      • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic July 12, 2013 at 9:12 am

        I have received confirmation from Jamie Davis, fire information officer, MLDRTL. Davis said in an email:
        “Yes as of 7/11/13 at 6:00 pm the fire is at 2 acres. You hit it on the head. Growth potential and difficult terrain means having the number of firefighters.”
        Big things come in small packages sometimes?
        Thank you for pressing for clarity, I hope this helps.
        Joyce
        EIC

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