VEYO – A lightning-caused wildfire near Veyo and Brookside is growing rapidly despite firefighting efforts and may soon threaten area structures.
The Cinder Pit Fire was started by a lightning strike at approximately 3:35 p.m. Thursday and is currently estimated at 100 acres in size. Located just west of state Route-18, nine miles northwest of Veyo, it is burning mostly on land owned by the Bureau of Land Management and some private property.
Officials on scene said the fire is growing rapidly due to strong wind and described its behavior as “sporadic.” The U.S. Forest Service, Northwestern Special Service District and BLM, among others, are working to stop the growth and eventually begin containment efforts. A firefighting helicopter drawing water from nearby Baker Reservoir and air tankers are assisting engine and ground crews.
“The wind is carrying it,” Veyo Fire Chief Dan Tanasz said. “We’re calling it a T3 fire, so it’s mid-sized and we’re hoping it doesn’t get worse.”
No structures have been threatened yet, though residents of Veyo and Brookside should remain on alert and prepare for an evacuation call, Bob Grancola of the Color Country Interagency Fire Management Center said.
“My parents reside in (the Baker Reservoir area) on a ranch and we are keeping a close eye on the fire,” concerned local Sierra Van Cleve-Archibald said.
Grancola said smoke and flames are visible from SR-18, but he urges members of the public to not stop to watch or take pictures, as they will be in the way of firefighters. Deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched around 4 p.m. to keep traffic moving and disperse onlookers.
Updates will be posted as further information becomes available.
St. George News reporter Sarah Isaacson contributed to this report.
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