UPDATED: Neck Fire more than doubles in size overnight north of Cedar City

ST. GEORGE — The Neck Fire north of Cedar City has grown to 10,000 acres overnight, standing at 5% containment. 

Update 5:10 p.m. The fire has grown to 25,000 acres, according to the Color Country Interagency. 

The fire, which was ignited by lightning around 5 p.m. Thursday night, is quickly burning through grass, sagebrush and juniper trees, about 15 miles east of Lund and 30 miles north of Cedar City. 

“There’s a lot of old former burn scars out here from previous fires. The fire is burning through some of those now,” Bureau of Land Management spokesperson Nick Howell said. “And so for one day’s worth of fire activity, that is quite a bit of growth.” 

As of 3 p.m. Friday, the fire is still actively burning in the northeast corner and is spreading north. The southwest corner of the fire is now 5% contained.

The Neck Fire, as seen from Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 5, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Ken Smith, St. George News / Cedar City News

The Color Country Interagency has about 120 personnel currently fighting the fire using 12 fire engines, one hand crew, two dozers, six aircraft, including two helicopters, and six smokejumpers.

“We’re definitely throwing a lot of resources at it now that it’s 10,000 acres. We want to minimize any further resource damage out here with wildlife habitat and fencing and things of that nature,” Howell said. 

No structures are currently threatened, and no injuries have been reported. 

Howell said the speed at which the fire is spreading has to do with the large amount of precipitation the area received over the winter, which caused a lot of vegetation to grow, coupled with the lack of monsoonal moisture throughout the Southwest this year.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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