WASHINGTON COUNTY – The lightning-caused Oak Grove Fire in the Pine Valley Wilderness area of Dixie National Forest in Washington County has increased to 350 acres as of Wednesday night, and one injury has been reported in connection with the fire.
There was an increase in fire behavior during the afternoon hours Wednesday, according to a press release from the United States Forest Service, and the fire continues to be 0 percent contained. A minor hand laceration was reported Wednesday, though the press release did not specify who reported the injury or the specific cause of the laceration.
Weather forecasts indicate a high pressure system over the fire area, with increased temperatures and dry conditions over the next few days and winds of between 5-10 mph, according to the press release. Ground fire crews are prepping helicopter bucket water sources, helicopter landing zones and the Oak Grove Campground, which was evacuated Tuesday as a precaution.
About 115 people have been assigned to the fire, which was ignited Tuesday morning. The fire is located in steep, rocky terrain 3 miles southeast of Oak Grove Campground in Dixie National Forest.
The fire is being managed by a Color Country Type 3 incident management team. Local resources include Forest Service; Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands; the Bureau of Land Management; and fire departments from Hurricane and Leeds.
Fire crew resources consist of:
- Black Mesa interagency Type 1 hotshot crews
- Payson interagency Type 1 Hotshot Crew
- Coconino Type 2 Module Suppression Crew
- Salt Lake County No. 1 Unified Fire Authority Type 2 Initial Attack Crew
- Southern Paiute Agency Type 2 Crew
Aerial resources consist of a Type 3 helicopter, four SEATS, two heavy air tankers, Aerial Supervision, and a Type 2 helicopter, according to the press release.
An additional Interagency Hotshot Crew from Silver State Hotshots and a Type 1 helicopter are expected to join the firefighting efforts Thursday.
No structures are threatened by the fire.
In addition to Oak Grove Campground, Forest Service Road 32 to Oak Grove has been closed, and additional road and trail closures are anticipated, according to the press release.
“The public and media are urged to use caution in the area to allow fire personnel access,” the press release said.
Multiple unfounded fires have been reported by citizens since the Oak Grove Fire started and have turned out to be smoke drift from the Oak Grove fire. Residents from St. George to Cedar City should expect to see smoke from the Interstate 15 corridor between St. George and Cedar City, according to the press release.
Fire management objectives include:
- Provide for firefighter and public safety through the use of sound risk management and hazard mitigation
- Maintain relationships with the local community and visiting public by minimizing the impact to municipal watersheds, private lands and designated wilderness through full suppression strategies
- Protect infrastructure in campgrounds, private lands and water systems
“Thank you to the community for the support we are receiving,” the press release said. “Cooperation and collaboration with other federal agencies; state, local, and tribal government agencies; and volunteer fire departments are critical to safe and effective wildfire response.”
- Oak Grove Fire spans 300 acres, officials await additional resources
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