New team takes control of Neck Fire while new fires ignite in Utah, Arizona

Area burned by the Neck Fire in Iron County, Utah, Sept. 7, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — While the Bureau of Land Management handed off management of the Neck Fire to an Incident Command Team Sunday morning, new fires have ignited in Utah and Arizona.

Smoke from the Neck Fire burning north of Cedar City in Iron County, Utah, Sept. 7, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management, St. George News / Cedar City News

Neck Fire

The Neck Fire, located 15 miles north of Cedar City, remains at 30% containment and 17,800 acres in size as of Sunday afternoon. Management of the fire was handed over to Great Basin Team 7 by the Color County Bureau of Land Management around 6 a.m., according to a press release.

Led by Incident Commander Jeff Knudson, Great basin Team 7 brings additional personnel and resources to fight the fire.

The fire, which was caused by lightning Thursday night, currently has 292 firefighters assigned to it who are being backed up by heavy equipment and aircraft support.

Conditions remain hot and dry with winds expected to reach up to 24 mph during the afternoon.

Thus far, Mud Springs Road is the only paved road closure. Law enforcement is staffing roadblocks established for public safety and efficient firefighting operations. Other unpaved roads near the fire remain closed.

Those driving in the area of Highway 130 are advised to slow down, but not stop in or around the fire area.

No structures are currently threatened by the fire, though there is a concern for nearby endangered sage grouse and Utah prairie dog habitat should the fire spread.

Meadow Creek Fire

The 950-acre Meadow Creek Fire started Sunday afternoon in Millard County near Fillmore and Meadow.

Arizona Fires

The North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest is dealing with two new fire starts and monitoring another fire that’s been burning since late July. Multiple agencies and resources responded to the fires to keep them from spreading, according to a press release from the ranger district.

Aerial shot of the Ikes Fire, North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, Aug, 15, 2019 | Photo by Paul Lemmon, courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

The Le Fevre Fire, located 15 miles southwest of Freedonia, Arizona, off Highway 89A near the Le Fevre Outlook, was ignited by a vehicle crash Saturday. The fire grew to 20 acres and is considered 80% contained by fire managers.

Highway 89A remains open to traffic, though motorists may find themselves restricted to a single lane as fire crews work to combat the blaze.

The Cougar Fire, which was also discovered Saturday, is located in the area of the recent Castle Fire approximately 6 miles northwest of the Demotte Campground. The fire is a single-acre lightning-triggered fire. It has been contained and is being mopped up by firefighters.

Fire managers continue to monitor the 7,785-acre Ikes Fire that was discovered July 25 near Swamp Point on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Ignited by lightning, it is being allowed to burn “in order to fulfill its natural role of reducing dense forest fuels and improving overall ecosystem health.”

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

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