Lightning sparks new fire in Browse area

The Sandy Fire in the Dixie National Forest, three miles west of I-15 Exit 30, Washington County, Utah, July 24, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the US Forest Service, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Lightning sparked a new fire in Washington County Friday afternoon in the Browse area off Interstate 15.

The view of the Pine Valley Mountains becomes more majestic the closer one gets to the Browse Guard Station and Sequoia, Browse, Utah, May 15, 2020 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

Named the Sandy Fire, it was first reported around 3:35 p.m. Friday and is located 3 miles west of Exit 30 on Interstate 15 and is burning near the Dry Sandy Wash in brush and pinion juniper, according to a press release from the U.S. Forest Service.

As of Friday afternoon, the fire is estimated to be 15 acres in size with zero containment thus far. However, Kevin Abel, Dixie National Forest public affairs officer, said Saturday that may change as updates come in as the day progresses.

The fire is actively burning in brush and timber and currently no structures are threatened by it. The fire is also no threat at this point or a disruption to traffic on I-15.

The nearby Oak Grove Campground and Browse Guard Station are currently closed to the public, and have been since the start of June due to fire danger, Abel said.

Resources that have been dispatched to the Sandy Fire include smokejumpers, a hotshot crew, hand crews and air support.

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

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