UPDATED: Fire in Cedar City threatens homes, livestock corrals

A fire in Cedar City Monday afternoon burned 5 acres and several outbuildings. Cedar City, Utah, June 12, 2017 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, Cedar City News

Update June 13, 9:15 a.m. According to a media statement from Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack, it has been determined through the course of interviewing witnesses that Monday’s fire was human-caused.

Fire and police investigators determined there were several men in the area cleaning up a property, the statements said. They had stacked up a pile of weeds and determined to dispose of it by burning. Soon the men realized that the fire was out of control, and one of them called dispatch to report the fire.

Iron County resident Frank Johnson, 41, was cited and released at the scene for reckless burning, a class A misdemeanor, and willfully or negligently causing a fire, a class B misdemeanor.

The fire eventually engulfed six acres and was extinguished over the course of several hours.  Fire fighters continued monitoring the scene throughout the night to prevent flare-ups.

CEDAR CITY — Firefighters responded to a report of a fire in the area of 700 N. 800 West in Cedar City Monday afternoon.

Upon arrival, firefighters found a large fire that was being whipped by winds and rapidly growing. Nearby structures were threatened and several outbuildings were destroyed in the blaze.

“This fire is a good lesson in how quickly a fire can spread,” Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack said. “We have to be careful because we’ve had a wet winter and a wet spring and now everything is drying out and these high winds recently haven’t helped.”

According to a press release Womack issued, the fire consumed about 5 acres of grass, old farm buildings and livestock corrals before firefighters were able to bring it mostly under control. Units were still on scene Monday afternoon to monitor the area to avoid any flare-ups.

No firefighters or other responders were injured and there was no injury to any livestock in the area. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Units from the Cedar City Fire Department, Utah State Forestry and State Lands, United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management all responded to the fire.

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

St. George News reporter Ric Wayman contributed to this report.

Email: tsullivan@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @tracie_sullivan

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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2 Comments

  • knobe June 13, 2017 at 9:22 am

    The combination of wood framed buildings , wooden fences and dry grasses during the hot dry season is not a good recipe .
    I’ve been knocking down as much dry grass as possible during the cooler morning hours just to reduce the fire hazards .

  • Real Life June 13, 2017 at 10:07 am

    What a bunch of morons. What is the penalty for being so stupid? Whatever the penalty, it’s not enough.

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