ST. GEORGE — Fire departments from three states are fighting a lightning-caused fire burning 25 miles southwest of St. George in the Frehner Canyon area near Littlefield, Arizona.
Dubbed the Frehner Canyon fire, it started at around 6 p.m. Thursday evening and is burning in the foothills of Mount Bangs just south of Littlefield, Arizona.
On Thursday, the fire was just over 200 acres in size and grew significantly. As of Friday night, the fire was just over 1,000 acres, Beaver Dam-Littlefield Fire Battalion Chief Andre Ojeda said.
By Friday evening, the fire had grown to more than 1,500 acres and was 0% contained, according to Bureau of Land Management updates.
Ojeda said that aerial mapping to measure the size of the fire is scheduled to take place Saturday and will provide a more accurate estimate of the fire’s current size.
The fire is fueled by grass, brush and pinyon juniper woodland and is threatening the Paiute wilderness, vegetation and the critical habitat for Desert Tortoise. There is a moderate chance of the fire growing in size over the next 24 hours, according to the Fire, Weather and Avalanche Center.
The Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire District is receiving interagency support from local resources in Arizona. They are also receiving resources from Utah via the Color County Interagency Fire Center and the Interagency Fire Management Organization. Nevada fire agencies have also been called.
The Santa Clara/Ivins Fire Department has a brush truck and crew in Arizona providing support, Chief Randy Hancey said, adding they also have a crew and truck up north fighting a wildfire.
The Hurricane Valley Fire District sent equipment and crews to provide support, along with state and federal resources that include the BLM, Utah State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service, Washington County Fire Warden Adam Heyder said.
Firefighters with the Santa Clara/Ivins Fire Department have been sent all over the state to assist in firefighting efforts, Heyder said, as well as fire departments in Hurricane, Cedar City and Kanab.
Each wildfire is evaluated by fire management officials to determine the most appropriate strategy, taking into account which resources are at risk, the location of the fire and weather forecast.
Participating fire departments then go on a 14-day-on, two-day-off schedule to provide coverage taking into account firefighter safety.
Pinyon-juniper woodland is the most common forest type in the region. It covers more than 100 million acres across 10 states and includes one or more species of pinyon pine and juniper, and is associated with a range of different vegetation. The majority of pinyon-juniper woodlands are found in regions where temperature extremes and limited moisture availability are common, according to the National Park Service.
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