Brian Head fire grows another 6,000-plus acres, still at 65 percent containment

Fire crews continue working to contain the Brian Head fire that has now grown to more than 66,000 acres but is reported to be 65 percent contained, Panguitch, Utah, July 3, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Color Country Fire Interagency, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE – The Brian Head fire flared up again Sunday growing nearly 6,500 acres in the last 24 hours.

After several days of lower numbers, the fire again became active on the northern flank in the Little Creek Peak area, burning through pockets of dense timber and downfall and growing another 6,467 acres to a total of 66,768 acres. Officials are reporting the fire is 65 percent contained.

Similar conditions were expected today for this same area. Firefighters planned to reinforce the completed dozer line in that area by removing surrounding brush that could threaten the line if ignited. Crews were also going to connect the dozer lines into existing road systems to the north to create containment lines in anticipation of the fire’s movement in that direction.

Crews in the southern portion of the fire intended to continue to monitor, secure and mop-up any areas where heat still exists.

All of Highway 143 and Panguitch Lake is open to the public and recreational activities on the lake have resumed. Utility repair activities are likely to continue in the area. Additionally, firefighters will continue to evaluate and remove hazard trees along Highway 143 – delays can be expected. Travelers to these areas should remain on the highway, drive slowly and be aware of possible emergency traffic.

All other roads and residences within the fire perimeter are closed due to fire activity and utility work.

There are still 13 helicopters, 83 engines and 49 crews comprising of 1,789 firefighters on scene.

Current evacuations

The following communities remain evacuated per local law enforcement:  Upper Bear Valley, Horse Valley, Clear Creek and Little Creek Ranch. All evacuations are being evaluated daily. Evacuees can contact the American Red Cross in Panguitch for shelter information.

Closures

Five Mile and Three Mile Roads are closed due to fire activity. The Dixie National Forest has an area closure on lands north of Highway 143. Check your route before planning recreational activities. Anyone violating these closure areas may be cited. Maps of the closure area are posted at Inciweb.

Background

The Brian Head Fire started on Saturday, June 17, and grew very quickly through dense timber on lands administered by Brian Head Town, Iron County, in cooperation with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands. It has since burned on to lands managed by Dixie National Forest and Color Country District Bureau of Land Management. Cedar Breaks National Monument remains open.

For more fire information:

Email: tsullivan@stgnews.com

Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

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

 

 

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