ATV destroyed by fire on Arizona Strip

Stock image | St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Four people escaped serious injury when their ATV caught fire in a desolate area along the Arizona Strip Saturday.

In this file photo shown for illustration purposes, a dirt road meanders through the Arizona Strip, Arizona, Jan. 29, 2012 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

St. George Fire was dispatched to the vehicle fire south of St. George Regional Airport in a remote location in Arizona just across the Utah border involving a Polaris all-terrain vehicle with four occupants, St. George Fire Batallion Chief Darren Imlay said.

Fire crews and a brush truck made their way to the remote scene where they found the off-road vehicle “completely burned up,” Imlay said.

The fire was extinguished using only water transported to the scene in the brush truck, as no other water sources are accessible in that area for quite some distance.

At the time of the incident, the ATV’s occupants became concerned when they smelled gasoline coming from the vehicle during the ride through the desert, prompting the driver to stop and investigate the source of the smell.

The driver looked under the vehicle and saw flames coming from what appeared to be the engine area, Imlay said, at which point all of the occupants jumped out of the ATV.

The ATV burned quickly as firefighters were making their way to the scene, Imlay said.

“(There is) not much to those vehicles, and with the wind blowing, those things can burn really fast,” he explained.

The cause of the fire is undetermined, Imlay said, adding that “we’re not sure if the fire started from a fuel leak or from some other source.”

More importantly, the occupants were able to get out of the vehicle and suffered no injuries, he said, noting that there have been several similar incidents where the occupants were unable to exit the ATV in time and were burned “pretty badly” as a result.

“These guys stopped as soon as they smelled the gas, which worked in their favor and left them without any injuries.”

The Polaris was completely destroyed in the fire.

This report is based on statements from emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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