Wildfire on west side of Pine Valley Mountains grows to over 100 acres

ST. GEORGE — A fire on the western flank of the Pine Valley Mountains has grown to over 100 acres. The blaze is one of three fires started by a thunderstorm which swept the area Saturday and Sunday.

Aerial view of the Saddle Fire taken when the blaze was initially reported, Pine Valley Mountains Wilderness, June 13, 2016 | Photo courtesy Color Country Interagency Fire Center, St. George News
Aerial view of the Saddle Fire taken when the blaze was initially reported, Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness, June 13, 2016 | Photo courtesy Color Country Interagency Fire Center, St. George News

Read more: Lightning-caused Aspen wildfire continues to burn.


The “Saddle Fire” was first reported on Monday and is currently 103 acres in size. Located 2 1/2 miles southwest from the town of Pine Valley, the fire is located in steep, remote terrain, Color Country Public Information Officer Marcia Gilles said. When initially reported, the Saddle Fire was less than one acre in size.

Ranger Joe Rechsteiner, Pine Valley District, said the higher humidity and moisture that often accompany thunderstorms can cause fires to remain unseen for several days. Known as “holdover lightning fires,” the smoke from these fires are often not visible until the onset of dry weather, wind and higher temperatures.

“Sometimes, the fires, they need the wind and the heat to kind of pick them up,” Gilles said, “and that’s why you see them pop up two days later.”

Due to the remote location and rugged terrain, no ground units are being used, she said.

According to the U.S. Forest Service – Dixie National Forest Facebook page, “The average slope is 15-26% with a max of 60% on the Saddle Fire, located in the Pine Valley Wilderness Area. Limited access with dangerous terrain is being assessed for suppression operations.”

Helicopters making water bucket drops are being used to fight the Saddle Fire, Gilles said.

Since the Saddle Fire is in the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness, there is currently no worry about the fire causing damage to structures or homes in the area.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: dgilman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

 

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.