UPDATED: Fire near Veyo grows to 800 acres; evacuations continue

Firefighters attack a brush fire near Veyo, Utah, July 13, 2020 | Photo by Kaden Foremaster, St. George News

VEYO — A brush fire that ignited a mile west of Veyo Monday afternoon has spread to 800 acres and is threatening multiple structures, prompting evacuations in area homes.

Smoke from the Veyo fire billows up into the air, Southern Utah, July 13, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Dave Deuel, St. George News

The fire ignited at approximately 2:55 p.m., and plumes of smoke can be seen rising north of St. George.

In a text to St. George News, Adam Heyder, the Washington County Fire Warden, said that the fire is burning through dry brush and grass on state, federal and private land. Two outbuildings have been lost.

According to a tweet posted by the Utah Department of Transportation, state Route 18 is closed between mile post 20 and 21 in Veyo for both directions of travel. Officials ask citizens to avoid unnecessary travel in this area. The secondary roads west of SR-18 and north of Gunlock Road are also closed.

A reverse 911 was released by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office requesting area residents that live on the west side of SR-18 to evacuate. Anyone who needs assistance should call 911.

The view of the Veyo fire from Pine Valley Mountain, July 13, 2020 | Photo courtesy John Teas, St. George News

Multiple agencies are working on extinguishing the fire and protecting structures. These include seven federal agencies, multiple local fire departments, multiple air tankers and three helicopters, according to a press release issued by the Bureau of Land Management.

Just before 7 p.m., Lt. Brock Bentley told St. George News that the fire had grown to approximately 800 acres, and they had started an evacuation of Brookside.

“The wind is pushing that direction, so we’re just doing it ahead of time to be cautious,” he said. “Every other minute it seems like it’s changing, so we’re just trying to keep a good handle on the evacuations and the direction that it’s moving to make sure we stay ahead of it and give everybody plenty of warning.”

No injuries have been reported. The fire cause is under investigation.

Update July 13, 7:55 p.m. Additional details added.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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