News LIVE: Hicks Creek Fire at 1,500 acres; most recent update 4:02 p.m. with VIDEO

NEWS LIVE: This report contains news live as it develops and is being  updated continuously. Bookmark and refresh the page periodically for updates. Most recent update 4:02 p.m. (adds VIDEO and clarification regarding fire location)

CEDAR CITY – A fire that reportedly started as a controlled burn has transformed into a wildfire in the region of Shirts Canyon near Kanarraville Mountain and south of Cedar City early Monday. Shirts Canyon is alternately known as Shirtz Canyon and Shurtz Canyon.

The fire jumped a fire break, more than likely because of the wind, Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. Del Schlosser said in a text to Cedar City News.

St. George News / Cedar City News reporter Tracie Sullivan interviewed Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower about the origin and progression of the fire.

The fire caught the attention of Cedar City residents at least as early as the 2 a.m. hour when St. George News / Cedar City News columnist Bryan Hyde texted, “Cedar Mountain is on fire. I am parked just south of Cedar city off I 15 watching the flames move. It appears that this wind is carrying the fire at an uncontrollable speed.”

Utah fire info tweeted at about 4:50 a.m. “NEW WILDFIRE Apx 3 miles SW of Cedar City (ed. note: the sheriff’s office confirmed the fire is south of Cedar City and east of Interstate 15). Est+500 acres, wind driven structure protection being put in place. #HicksCreek Fire #ffslcur”

Smoke from the Hicks Creek Fire as of Monday afternoon. The Fire has grown the 1,500 acres since it was first reported Sunday afternoon. The fire itself is burning about 3 miles southwest of Cedar City Iron County, Utah, Oct. 17, 2016 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, Cedar City News / St. George News
Smoke from the Hicks Creek Fire as of Monday afternoon. The Fire has grown the 1,500 acres since it was first reported Sunday afternoon. The fire itself is burning about 3 miles southwest of Cedar City Iron County, Utah, Oct. 17, 2016 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, Cedar City News / St. George News

The fire is in the area of Shirts Canyon and they’re evacuating homes and getting livestock out of the area, firefighter Paul Christensen told Cedar City News / St. George News from the region around 5:15 a.m., estimating about three homes are currently threatened.

“All homes that are being evacuated have already been contacted,” Cedar Communications Center wrote in a Facebook post around 5:15 a.m.,  “please use caution and be prepared in the surrounding areas of shirts canyon.”

At 7 a.m., Schlosser said 1,000 acres have burned so far, 12 fire apparatuses are on scene, including eight fire engines and other resources. At this point, the fire appears to have died down, he said, but it could flare up at anytime so firefighters are remaining at the fire.

A Type 3 Incident Management team is addressing the fire, using local resources from federal, state, county and city agencies.

Roads in the area are closed to all but emergency response vehicles, Schlosser said.

Residents of the threatened homes did evacuate, Schlosser said, and remained so as of 7 a.m.

Members of the Iron County Sheriff's Office responding to the Hicks Fire in Iron County, Utah, Oct. 17, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff's Office, Cedar City News / St. George News
Members of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office responding to the Hicks Fire in Iron County, Utah, Oct. 17, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar City News / St. George News

The fire began as a private controlled burn on private property, fire incident commander Nick Howell, with Color Country Interagency Fire Center, said.

The controlled burn was conducted nearly three weeks ago, the Sheriff’s Office said in a released state. Sunday around 4:20 p.m. it appears to have rekindled due to high winds and by 4 a.m. Monday had grown and was moving towards homes in the area.

Wind gusts betweet 40-mph winds and 60-mph through the night accelerated the fire’s growth.

Around 10 a.m., Utah fire officials fire reported over Twitter that the Hicks Fire was estimated at 1,500 acres. Whie the fire continues to grow, reduced winds have helped slow its progression. Helicopters and tankers on order.

The fire is being referred to as the Hicks Creek Fire.

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department issued the following recommendations for those who may encounter smoke from the fire:

If smoke is thick or becomes thick in your neighborhood you may want to remain indoors. This is especially true for those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses (including asthma and COPD), the very young, and the elderly. Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present.”

St. George News / Cedar City News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed to this report.

This is a developing story.

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

Ed. Note: Cedar City News | CedarCityUtah.com is a counterpart to St. George News | StGeorgeNews.com.

Email: tsullivan@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @tracie_sullivan

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

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15 Comments

  • .... October 17, 2016 at 6:16 am

    Well that controlled burn didn’t quite turn out as planned. Residents have been told 2 prepare for being told 2 evacuate the area.
    so I’m sure there will be criminal charges filed right ?

    • Real Life October 17, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Controlled burn? LOL! That’s like saying Dumpster has his pill habit “under control”.

      • Ron October 17, 2016 at 9:18 am

        Like….”controlled high”? Hahaha….

      • Bob October 17, 2016 at 11:32 am

        lol, so true

      • .... October 17, 2016 at 3:30 pm

        Have a nice day

        • Real Life October 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm

          Wow Dumpster, you are getting lamer.

  • rdemille1 October 17, 2016 at 8:55 am

    This seems so strange to me. Why would there be a controlled burn on a day when there’s a wind advisory?

  • NotSoFast October 17, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I’m a little confused. Article states that the controlled burn was 3 weeks ago and was rekindled? Please clarify.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic October 17, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      Wind is what’s been posited, NSF.
      Note this is a LIVE report and is being continually updated.
      Also see interview with Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower this morning in which Tracie Sullivan asked him about this. See that video here: https://www.facebook.com/Cedar-City-News-238233449704000/#

      ST. GEORGE NEWS
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

    • Jason October 19, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      This seems to be a commonly asked question. When logging operations burn piles of accumulated logging debris, the piles can smolder underground for weeks. There are documented cases where slash piles have even rekindled even after snowstorms. In this case, investigators are still working through evidence and witness statements to determine what happened. -Jason Curry, Hicks Creek Fire Information

  • ladybugavenger October 17, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Ive got the coke, and cheetos (thanks to Dots truck delivery) someone bring the marshmallows

    • .... October 17, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      I got the marshmellows I’m on my way !

  • Bob October 17, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    “Home of the homes evavuated near the Hicks Fire. The fire is burning about 3 miles southwest of Cedar City Iron County, Utah, Oct. 17, 2016 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, Cedar City News / St. George News”

    Home of the homes? what is it?

    • Nancy Perkins Nancy Perkins October 17, 2016 at 11:11 pm

      Hello Bob, the caption has been edited and is now correct. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Nancy Perkins, Editor

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