Lingering Southern Utah fires near containment

Image by Brett Barrett, St, George News

SOUTHERN UTAH – Fire activity is beginning to die down as two of the area’s more active fires near containment.

Shivwits Fire

Mike Melton, a fire management officer for Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, said the Shivwits Fire, located 6 miles northwest of Ivins, is at 95 percent containment as of Friday morning. Fire activity has been downgraded to isolated “creeping” and “torching.”

As described from a list of wildfire terms provided by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, creeping is described in instances when a “fire is spreading with a low flame and spreading slowly.” Torching is “the burning of the foliage of a single tree or a small group of trees, from the bottom up.”

The Shivwits Fire has reached 5,100 acres and was started on Aug. 12 by lightning. The fire may still pose a threat to a nearby communication site, though that threat is lessening.

Resources on hand for the fire at this stage include three fire engines and one 20-person hand crew.

Reserve Fire

The Reserve Fire is at 3,067 acres and is 80 percent contained, said Nick Howell, a fire mitigation and education specialist for the Bureau of Land Management. No new fire growth occurred on Thursday. He added that resources assigned to the fire will begin to be released on Friday as fire activity slows down and mop-up operations commence.  Two helicopters and air attack remain assigned to the fire.  If  current weather conditions continue, Howell said further containment objectives should be met by Friday evening.

Current fire activity involves hotspots, or particularly active pockets of the fire, that may be visible from nearby roads. As containment is reached, more focus will be attached to these hot spots during mop-up efforts.

 Mesa Rim and Black Gulch Trails remain closed.

The fire started Aug. 13 from lightning and is located north of St. George, near the Mesa Rim Trail.

Resources on hand include nine fire engines, six hand crews, two squads, one Type II helicopter, one Type III helicopter, one air attack platform, and various overhead.  Approximately 125 individuals are en route or currently assigned to the fire.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

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