WASHINGTON COUNTY – Progress is being made toward containment of lightning-caused fires in the Pine Valley Mountain wilderness area of Dixie National Forest Saturday. The Oak Grove Fire is now at 849 acres with 40 percent containment, and resources began mop-up on the Brown Trail Fire.
The Brown Trail Fire, which started Friday, held containment lines overnight while fire crews worked to douse the embers that remained near the fire’s edge.
U.S. Forest Service, Utah Division of Natural Resources and Santa Clara Fire Department responded to the fire Friday morning after an early morning phone call from Pine Valley Fire Chief Gerald Schiefer reported it to Color Country Interagency Communication Center.
Support also came in the form of a 10-person hand crew from the Coconino National Forest out of Arizona. Friday night, command of the scene was transferred to Coconino National Forest hand crew member Aaron Greaser, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Forest Service.
“Smoke may still be visible from Pine Valley as internal vegetation continues to burn out,” the release stated. “(The) Fire (was) contained at 7 p.m. yesterday.”
As of 6:10 p.m. Saturday, there was still no word whether the fire has been downgraded to “controlled.” “Controlled” would mean the complete extinguishment of the fire, according to information from the forest service.
The Brown Trail Fire, which burned only 1/4 of an acre, is the second fire to break out in the Dixie National Forest Pine Valley Mountain wilderness area in the past week. The first was the Oak Grove fire that began on Tuesday.
Both fires are believed to have been ignited by lightning.
Moisture is expected to move into the fire area beginning Sunday evening and continue through Monday, according to a press release received Saturday night, further assisting in fire containment efforts.
Forest Roads No. 031, 902 and 032 as well as the Oak Grove Campground remain temporarily closed. Browns Trail, Forsyth Trail, Equestrian Trail and the Summit Trails remain closed, as well.
“Temporary closures allow firefighters, fire equipment, and aerial resources to work efficiently and effectively while keeping members of the public out of harm’s way,” the press release said.
The forest closure will continue until fire danger subsides.
- Second fire reported in Pine Valley Wilderness, fire updates
- Oak Grove Fire sees minimal growth; hotshot crews on ground
- Oak Grove Fire now spanning an estimated 770 acres
- Family-owned pizzeria, 2 other buildings destroyed in Duck Creek Village fire
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