CEDAR CITY – Fire crews had contained the Hicks Creek Fire nearly 60 percent Friday afternoon with plans to conduct a strategic back burn. However, when after unexpected winds caused the flames to flare up again, fire fighters were forced to move back away from the area they were working.
According to Public Information Officer Jason Curry with the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, fire crews were working in an area where they had planned to conduct a back burn, but the winds stopped the project.
“But when the winds kicked up into the area they were in we began to move back out of the area,” Curry said.
Fire crews initially planned to stop the flare-up by back burning down below in order to meet the fire in the middle and create a fire line that would prevent further spreading. The fire jumped, however, making it impossible for crews to stop it.
Authorities said the fire is no longer contained by 60 percent, but they do not have any details on what the exact numbers are at this point and how much more has burned, Curry said.
Fire crews were relocated to the northeast side of where the fire is burning currently to try and find ways to move in closer.
However, the area of the fire is too difficult and too hot for crews to move in close, authorities said. Air tankers are working overhead to try and slow the flames from spreading.
A public meeting is scheduled at 8 p.m. at The Church of Latter-day Saints building located 1120 W. Greens Lake Drive in Cedar City.
There are currently 300 boots on the ground in the Shurtz Canyon area where the fire is located.
A Type 3 Incident Management Team is managing the fire for full suppression. Many of the aircraft and resources being used to fight the fire – including the Hot Shots – came from California.
Resources from the State of Utah-Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands; BLM; U.S. Forest Service; Cedar City Fire Department; and Iron County Sheriff’s Office assisted on scene at the Hicks Creek Fire.
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