ST. GEORGE — The U.S. Forest Service said a human-caused fire erupted Saturday afternoon near Panguitch Lake but is no threat to property and isn’t expected to get out of control.
Updated June 14, 6:30 p.m. with additional details. Fire officials say the fire is contained and mostly extinguished as of Sunday morning, although some smoldering hot spots remain.
The Cooper Knoll Fire was reported at 5:34 p.m. Saturday burning in timber litter and grass. While there is presently no containment, there are no anticipated control problems as the fire is moving towards an area previously treated with prescribed fire.
There are no structures currently threatened by the fire that has consumed 30 acres.
The attack on the fire includes several engines with the support of air drops.
Smoke is trailing off to the northeast and may be visible from Panguitch.
Panguitch Lake Fire Chief Dave Etter told St. George News Sunday afternoon that the fire was contained and essentially put out, although a few hot spots remain.
Etter said several groups of campers along Pass Creek were asked to evacuate the area Saturday night.
Three helicopters and an air tanker were used to fight the blaze from above. A hotshot crew of smoke jumpers were the first to make direct contact with the blaze, Etter said. “They did an incredible job.”
Etter said the fire’s location atop a steep knoll made it almost impossible to access with ground-based firefighting equipment.
“It was clear that air support was the only solution,” he said.
“After the smoke jumpers went in, other groups hiked up,” Etter added, noting that fire crews from Panguitch Lake, Panguitch City, Mammoth Creek responded, along with units deployed by Color Country Interagency Fire Center in Cedar City.
St. George News reporter JEFF RICHARDS contributed the update to this story.
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