CEDAR CITY — The Neck Fire in Iron County is holding steady at 30% containment as of Monday afternoon, and crews are making efforts to protect endangered sage grouse habitat in the areas where the fire is most active.
The fire has grown slightly since Sunday, increasing from 17,800 acres to 19,017. An additional 47 firefighters have been assigned to help fight the fire, with 339 total personnel, according to a press release from the Great Basin Management Team.
Fire crews are currently working to reinforce the existing dozer and hand lines on the north and southeast sides of the fire while creating new ones on the east side. They are working to suppress fire pockets on the east and north sides where the fire is most active to help ensure the protection of the endangered sage grouse habitat, which so far remains unburned.
Fire managers are also monitoring areas with occupied Utah Prarie Dog dens located several miles east of the fire’s perimeter.
No structures are currently at risk from the fire.
Unpaved roads in the area are still closed, as well as Mud Springs Road — the only paved road not open.
Officials ask that people driving through the area on state Route 130 slow down, but not stop, near the fire.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the area over the next two days, with wind gusts as fast as 25-35 mph on Monday and 40-45 mph on Tuesday. There is also a chance of rain both evenings, according to the National Weather Service.
Because of the dry and windy conditions, fire managers are asking the public to use caution with any fire-related or off-road activities.
No fire restrictions are currently in place, but the fire danger is still high and all campfires should be properly extinguished.
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