Eastern Nevada firefighters keep wildfire at bay, but smoke still drifting over to Utah

A plume from the Bishop Fire in Eastern Nevada drifts east toward Southern Utah on August 2, 2020. | Photo courtesy Eastern Nevada Interagency Fire, St. George News

ELGIN, Nev. — The Bishop Fire in Nevada 118 miles west of St. George has been holding at around 13,000 acres but that hasn’t stopped smoke from the fire drifting east and creating a haze across portions of Washington County, with a hint of smoke in the air.

Smoke from the Bishop Fire in Nevada creates a smokey, orange haze above Santa Clara, Utah, on August 2, 2020. | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

That haze and smokey smell combined with temperatures in the high 100s to create a scorching St. George landscape. On Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service extended an excessive heat warning through 9 p.m. Monday as well as continued Red Flag fire warnings throughout the region.

The Bishop Fire, which started Wednesday, is now 26% contained and is burning barren, hilly desert land along Nevada’s Rainbow Canyon. Chris Hanefeld, spokesperson for Eastern Nevada Interagency Fire, said winds have been gusting up in the afternoons, sending the smoke toward Mesquite and Southern Utah.

He expects the same afternoon drift of smoke to continue for the next few days, as the fire is not expected to be under control until at least Wednesday.

On Thursday, two water-dropping single-engine air tankers that took off from Cedar City Airport collided while fighting the fire, killing the pilot of each plane.

Six types of water-dropping helicopters continue to fight the fire, along with 289 firefighters on the ground battling through steep terrain inaccessible to vehicles.

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

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