Juveniles suspected in brush fire near George Washington Academy

Area near abandoned campfire, suspected cause of blaze, St. George, Utah, May 6, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — An abandoned campfire possibly started by juveniles set a field ablaze near George Washington Academy in St. George Friday evening.

Just after 8 p.m., the St. George Communications Center received a call reporting smoke in the area of 2450 S. 3000 East, St. George. As firefighters responded, they found an uncultivated field burning approximately 100 yards off the road, St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said.

The fire was burning in the middle of a field that was inaccessible to the fire engines, Stoker said, as the field was primarily tall salt grass, and the terrain made it impossible.

A St.George Fire Department brush truck was called in. A brush truck is a small, lightweight vehicle that is typically four-wheel drive and able to get off-road and fight fires where larger firefighting equipment cannot go. Additionally, the truck has a water tank, a pump, axes, and other firefighting tools that are easily accessible to firefighters.

Area near abandoned campfire, suspected cause of blaze, St. George, Utah, May 6, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Area near abandoned campfire, suspected cause of blaze, St. George, Utah, May 6, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Due to recent rain, the fire was contained to the salt grass, and while it burned under the tamarack trees, Stoker said, it never reached the crown, so they were left undamaged. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze in just under an hour.

Investigation provided the suspected origin of the blaze, which appeared to be an abandoned campfire that was in the middle of a large burned area, Stoker said.

“It appeared to have been recently set, most likely by juveniles,” Stoker said.

No injuries or damage was reported.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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