Fire near Pine Valley Mountain equivalent of 100 football fields in size; video footage

WASHINGTON COUNTY – A large plume of smoke reaching high into the sky could be seen for miles after a fire ignited in the Dixie National Forest near the Oak Grove campground Tuesday.

Fire managers were alerted to the Oak Grove Fire, located about 13 miles north of St. George, after 11 a.m. The blaze is estimated to be around 100 acres – the equivalent of 100 football fields – and, as this report is published, the fire is zero percent contained.

The 100 acres was the estimate as of 2 p.m. The Forest Service later reported that the fire had grown to 200 acres by Tuesday evening.

Washington County Fire Warden watches the smoke rise from the Oak Grove Fire in the Dixie National Forest, Washington County, Utah, Sept. 8, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Washington County Fire Warden watches the smoke rise from the Oak Grove Fire in the Dixie National Forest, Washington County, Utah, Sept. 8, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

As resources poured into the area from the Bureau of Land Management and Leeds Area Fire Department and Hurricane Fire District, the Oak Grove Campground, located three miles southeast of the fire, was evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Fire units and personnel set up a staging area and incident command along a stretch of Forest Service road 031, which was also located two miles south of the fire. While there is no imminent threat to the Oak Grove Campground, fire managers said, there is continuous fuel for the fire to spread to the campground.

According to a news release from the Washington County Emergency Services, Forest Service road 032 to Oak Grove and Oak Grove Campground have been closed.

“We don’t have anyone on the fire yet at this time due to extreme fire behavior and steep, rocky terrain,” Washington County Fire Warden Adam Heyder said around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Oak Grove Fire in the Dixie National Forest, Washington County, Utah, Sept. 8, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Oak Grove Fire in the Dixie National Forest, Washington County, Utah, Sept. 8, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Heyder said air support had been called in to help slow the fire down before any boots were put on the ground in the area.

The fire will be handed over to a local Type 3 incident team from Color County Fire Interagency, Heyder said, and will likely set up a new command post at the Leeds Area Fire Department. Two hot shot crews have also been requested to aid with the fire.

The fire is believed to be lightning-caused, yet remains under investigation at this time.

Local resources on scene are four engines from the Forest Service, Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands Utah State, and Bureau of Land Management.

“Once air attack is on scene, we will have more accurate information and provide updates,” fire managers said in the statement from Washington County Emergency Services.

Fire managers are advising the public to avoid the area.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

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

 

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12 Comments

  • Much Ado September 8, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I sure hope the BLM has spent the day rounding up all of those endangered turtles.

    • Bender September 8, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Fire not burning on turtle habitat nor is it on BLM land. Thanks for playing.

  • Leo September 8, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Wonder why they just don’t put it out!?

    • Bender September 8, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      You know… Benghazi, teachers unions and the gays.

  • Dexter September 8, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    The BLM turtles are going to put it out.!

  • Bender September 8, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    You know… Benghazi, teachers unions and the gays.

  • Brian September 8, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    100 acres is actually 75.625 football fields. For the truly curious, Utah is 41,091,116 football fields.

    • Bender September 9, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      Confused by the adjective “about” calculator boy?

  • debbie September 8, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    i hope it doesnt hurt bakers reservior… but i really don’t wanna see pine valley residence suffer.. hope they put it out soon.

    • Bender September 9, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      DEBBIE, your grasp of local geography is muddled. Fire on other side of mountain range from both Pine Valley and Baker Dam Reservoir.

  • fun bag September 9, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    this is obamas fault! and the libruls!

  • Dexter September 10, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Nah this is W’s fault and the members of the National Bowling Society

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