WASHINGTON COUNTY – A small car burst into flames Sunday evening while traveling the sandy trails, washes and dirt roads in Warner Valley.
Just before 6 p.m., a group of young adults were driving a red 1992 Toyota Corolla on the Warner Valley off-highway vehicle trails near the Washington City and Hurricane City border about 13 miles southeast of St. George.
“The occupants said they were just over here driving around in the hills,” Washington City firefighter Thomas Webster said, “and they said a fire started under the engine compartment. They all got out and (the fire) involved the full vehicle.”
The Toyota car was fully engulfed in flames when fire crews arrived on scene. Initial units arrived in an engine truck and were unable to access the burning car because of its off-road location.
“We generally don’t take the engine off the road,” Webster said. “We don’t want to get it stuck so we generally leave it on the pavement. With the brush truck, we’re limited on water supply and that’s why we have the engine there just in case we have to go back and forth.”
Fire units were able to access the fire with a brush truck and they had the fire contained within about 5 minutes thereafter.
“You know, the big thing about driving out here is,” Webster said, “it’s hard access to get to for us to put out fires. Luckily, there was no brush out here that we had to worry about. It’s kind of in an open area so it worked.”
While everyone in the vehicle escaped the situation without injury, Webster said he urges drivers to use caution when driving their vehicles in the sandy area.
“They need to be careful,” he said. “Obviously, when they’re rallying around in the hills, things like this can happen. Luckily, nobody got hurt so everybody can go home safe tonight.”
Fire units from both Washington City Fire Department and Hurricane Valley Fire Department responded to the scene.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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