Saddle Fire reaches partial containment; evacuation update

When clouds began to move in over the Saddle Fire burning on the Dixie National Forest near Pine Valley, fire officials were hopeful that rain would help suppress the blaze, Washington County, Utah, June 27, 2016 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

PINE VALLEY – The Saddle Fire in the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness is reported to be at 1,640 acres as of Sunday’s latest incident report, with firefighters progressing on all sections of the fire. Containment is currently placed at 42 percent.

Alta Hotshots working on the Saddle Fire above Pine Valley on the Dixie National Forest, Washington County, Utah, June 24, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Alta Hotshots, St. George News
This June 24 photo shows Alta Hotshots working on the Saddle Fire above Pine Valley on the Dixie National Forest, Washington County, Utah, June 24, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Alta Hotshots, St. George News

Rain from .10 to .25 inches fell over the fire again Friday, reducing the heat of the fire. A warming trend began Saturday which is expected to dry out fuels by the beginning of the week.

Although moisture received over the past few days helped reduce fire danger, it also delays burning operations that are needed to secure the uncontained portions of the remaining fireline.

Voluntary evacuations have been lifted for most of the Pine Valley community of Washington County. A portion of Lloyd Canyon remains under voluntary evacuation; specifically, areas south on Lloyd Canyon Drive at the Mahogany Lane intersection and south on Oakridge Drive and Mahogany Lane.

Crews continue to use ground and aerial ignition operations as well as direct and indirect line construction. These operations remove fuels from the path of the fire preventing the fire from spreading east toward the Pine Valley Recreation Area and south toward the Dammeron Valley area while still providing protection to area.

An attack strategy in Forsyth Canyon includes indirect firing operations using control lines in the canyon, natural barriers on the main ridge and utilizing a 2005 fire scar to the south.

There are 553 personnel, along with engines, heavy equipment and aircraft helping to suppress the fire. The fire remains most active in the Lloyd and Forsyth canyons.


Read more: Who are the Hotshots? Behind the scenes of their temporary Pine Valley home


The Saddle Fire began June 13 with a lighting strike on Saddle Mountain in the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness of the Dixie National Forest. The fire started approximately 2.5 miles south west of Pine Valley.

The Pine Valley Recreation Area in the Dixie National Forest remains under an indefinite area closure to all uses until the order is rescinded. Those wanting more information about the area closure may contact the Dixie National Forest or click here.

For further information please follow the Dixie National Forest on Facebook, Twitter, and InciWeb. Residents may also sign up for Everbridge to receive notifications from the Washington County Emergency Alert System. Those experiencing problems with online registration may telephone 435-634-5734 for assistance.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

 

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