CEDAR CITY — The Hicks Creek Fire now has about 200 boots on the ground fighting a fire that spread in size nearly 100 more acres overnight and has yet to be contained.
Fire managers reported the fire at 1,033 acres Monday night, however that number has since grown to 1,103 with zero containment being reported, said Jason Curry, public information officer for the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.
About 200 hand crews and engine personnel are working to bring the fire to full containment with a focus on the west flank of the fire nearest the homes in Shirts Canyon, also known as Shurtz Canyon.
Two helicopters are being used to drop buckets of water on hotspots enabling the crews to make a direct attack on the fire’s edge.
There are also two heavy air tankers and two single-engine air tankers dropping retardant on the northeast front toward the homes in the Cedar Highland subdivision, Curry said.
According to a news release issued by Color Country Interagency Fire Center Tuesday afternoon, the fire did not move closer to the homes overnight and is still being reported as 2-3 miles away from the area.
A public meeting was held Monday night with residents of Cedar Highlands. Fire managers and local law enforcement authorities went over protocols for evacuation should evacuation of those homes become necessary. Around 100 people attended.
Incident management personnel are continuing to assess possible strategies if the fire begins to spread.
Authorities said Tuesday they remain concerned about the day’s weather forecast, predicting winds as high as 40-45 miles per hour. Winds have already begun increasing, said Nick Howell, deputy incident commander for Color Country Interagency.
“But the winds are better at this time (2:30 p.m.) than we had expected,” Howell said.
The mountain roads above Shirts Canyon remain closed, but Old Highway 91 and Kanarraville Mountain Road are open to normal traffic. Motorists may encounter fire trucks in the area and incident managers are asking for patience and caution.
The Southern View mountain biking trail is also closed until further notice to accommodate aerial firefighting support.
A Type 3 Incident Management Team is managing the fire for full suppression. Many of the aircraft and resources fighting the fire came from California.
Resources from Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Cedar City Fire Department and Iron County Sheriff’s Office have all assisted on scene at the Hicks Creek Fire.
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