Wildfire spans across 4,000 acres in 5 days

The Mt. Emma Fire has burned 4,000 acres in 5 days, Arizona Strip, Arizona, June 25, 2015 | Photo courtesy Alan Syphus, Bureau of Land Management Arizona Strip, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Fire managers and staff from the Bureau of Land Management Arizona Strip District, Grand Canyon National Park and Lake Mead National Recreation Area continue firefighting efforts on the Mt. Emma Fire Monday, which has grown to approximately 4,000 acres in size over the last several days.

Fire managers are responding with more manpower and equipment to battle the lightning-caused fire located 75 miles southeast of St. George.

The Mt. Emma Fire has burned 4,000 acres in 5 days, Arizona Strip, Arizona, June 29, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management Arizona Strip, St. George News
The Mt. Emma Fire has burned 4,000 acres in 5 days, Arizona Strip, Arizona, June 29, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management Arizona Strip, St. George News

The fire began June 24 at 4:40 p.m. on the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. On June 25, the fire burned into Grand Canyon National Park where it continues to burn.

Fire activity includes creeping and smoldering with some isolated torching, as the fire continues burning in open Ponderosa pine, pinyon and juniper.

While few structures exist in the remote region, the fire is currently 2 miles from a summer cabin. Fire managers have a plan in place to protect the structure and continue to communicate closely with the family who are aware of the fire and watching its progress closely.

Due to increased traffic from fire staff and operation services in the area, fire managers request the public’s help in ensuring safety on backcountry roadways in the vicinity of the fire.

Image courtesy BLM Arizona Strip District
Image courtesy BLM Arizona Strip District

“To ensure firefighter safety we ask that all traffic near the area slow down and remain cautious and mindful of increased traffic on the roads en route to the Mt. Emma fire,” BLM Arizona Strip District Public Affairs Officer Rachel Carnahan said.

The fire is being managed by a Type 3 Incident Management Team. Resources on the fire include 2 Type 6 Engines, 1 Type 4 Engine, 1 Type 3 Engine, 1 Hot Shot crew, I Type 2 Initial Attack crew, an air tanker and air attack.

The Cedar City Air Center and Mesquite Tanker Base are providing aerial support.

“Due to the rough, remote terrain the fire is burning in,” Carnahan said, “fire managers will continue to use direct and indirect suppression tactics throughout the length of this fire in order to maintain safety for fire personnel.”

The Mt. Emma Fire continues to spread, Arizona Strip, Arizona, June 25, 2015 | Photo courtesy Alan Syphus, Bureau of Land Management Arizona Strip, St. George News
The Mt. Emma Fire continues to spread, Arizona Strip, Arizona, June 25, 2015 | Photo courtesy Alan Syphus, Bureau of Land Management Arizona Strip, St. George News

Direct and indirect tactics include fire personnel fighting fire on the edge of the fire or removed from the fire in an area which allows them to fall back to road or natural barriers for safety.

“Initial attack personnel continue assessments to determine the best possible suppression tactics,” said Carnahan.

The Mt. Emma fire is burning in and out of the footprint of the 1999 Emma Fire which burned 1,286 acres. It is also located northwest of the 2005 Tuweep fire which burned 1,866 acres.

The Wolf Hole Fire, located 10 miles south of St. George near Hodgets Canyon that burned 7 acres, was called out.

The 57-acre Sand Cove Fire located 30 miles southwest of St. George on the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument is not actively burning and is under monitor status.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • Bender June 29, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    4,000 acres is an area about 2 miles wide by 3 miles long.

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