Pine Hollow Fire near Kanab grows beyond 11,000 acres, moves into previous Wire Pass Fire area

Pine Hollow Fire burns through 1,600 acres just south of Utah-Arizona boarder east of Kanab, Mohave County, Arizona, July 30, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Utah Fire Info, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — As of Saturday, the Pine Hollow Fire has burned 11,168 acres and is currently 0% contained. The fire is burning 20 miles east of Kanab on the Utah and Arizona state border and has begun to impact some travel and campsites in the area.

The area of Buckskin Gulch, Kane County, Utah, March 13, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Kane County Search and Rescue, St. George News

According to a press release, the public is being asked to avoid travel on U.S. Highway 89, U.S. Highway 89A, Winter Road, House Rock Valley Road and Forest Service Road 248. The Stateline Campground has also been closed as a result of the fire.

There have been no injuries as a result of the Pine Hollow Fire and the fire was caused by lightning.

The most active part of the fire is the northern edge, which is burning where the previous Wire Pass Fire impacted the area near the Wire Pass trailhead and the Stateline Campground. That fire led to the evacuation of hikers near the famous Wave and Buckskin Gulch trails in late June.

As for the fuels left after the previous blaze, U.S. Forest Service public information officer Julie Thomas said that there are still fuels in the area even though the fire was rather recent.

“You still have some finer fuels that have come up in those fuel breaks and in that old fire scar,” Thomas said. “The wind is driving this fire and there are a lot of juniper pinyon out there so that’s what is driving it.”

The hike to The Wave in Paria Canyon – Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness area, Ariz., date not specified | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

Fire breaks and roads, similar to the House Rock Valley Road, are a huge resource for crews. The breaks are also helping crews fight the fire.

“They are coming in handy and they give us the time to do some more prep today,” Thomas said. “I’m looking out the window and we’re getting in some heavy equipment, some resources that are really going to help us get some breaks out there that are bigger, utilize those fire breaks and see if we can corral the fire.”

While there are a number of crews on the ground fighting the fire, Thomas added that they have not used air resources much to this point but they can request the fire tankers if needed.  Those aircraft will be coming out of Prescott, Arizona after two planes based out of the Cedar City Airport collided over the Bishop Fire in Nevada.

As for the weather looking ahead, officials said high pressure will continue to bring hot, dry and unstable conditions to the fire area for the foreseeable future. The temperatures on Saturday reached the upper 90s in the afternoon with erratic winds.

The forecast into next week is expected to be similar to what crews are seeing on Saturday: dry conditions and high temperatures.

“We’re seeing a little bit of rain over parts of Arizona but a little bit of virga (rain that evaporates before hitting the ground) is expected on the fire today,” Thomas said. “The weatherman says it’s not going to produce any moisture.”

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

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