Fire near Hamlin Valley reaches 45% containment; firefighter transported to hospital for heat illness

The Cougar Fire blazes through 476 acres, Beaver County, Utah, Aug. 16, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management Color Country District, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —  The Cougar Fire, burning approximately 30 miles northwest of Cedar City, reached 45% containment Wednesday and resulted in one firefighter being transported to the hospital for a heat-related illness.

At approximately 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, the Cougar Fire was first reported blazing through a remote area in Hamlin Valley near Cougar Spar in Beaver County, an area managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The fire has burned through 476 acres of juniper, pinyon, sagebrush and grass and is under investigation as a human-caused fire, according to a press release issued by Nick Howell, a public information officer for the BLM Color Country Interagency.

On Tuesday evening one firefighter was transported to the Cedar City Hospital for a heat related illness. The firefighter was quickly released and is expected to make a full recovery.

Howell told St. George News the transport was more of a precaution.

The Cougar Fire is under investigation as being human-caused, Beaver County, Utah, Aug. 16, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management Color Country District, St. George News

“After that long hot day, he wasn’t doing super great, so they took him in just to be sure. He was evaluated and quickly released,” he said.

Ground personnel were able to secure more fire line on Wednesday in the more accessible areas of the fire and achieve approximately 45% containment. Firefighters will now focus on securing fire line in the more rugged terrain located on the west and south sides of the fire’s perimeter.

Howell said this is where the focus will be on Thursday.

“They’re expecting to make some really good progress today,” he said, “like they have the last two days. Now that they’ve got the crews in there and all of there personnel, it should start moving along pretty quickly. The fire is still holding at 476 acres.”

The absence of wind has been a primary factor in containing the fire.

No road closures are in effect but travelers should be aware of fire traffic is the area. No structures are being threatened. Isolated pockets of heat are burning inside the fire’s perimeter.

A Color Country Interagency Type 3 Team is managing the fire. Nine fire engines, two dozers, two hand crews, three water tenders and one helicopter are currently working on the fire, for a total of 150 personnel.

Despite how hot it’s been recently, Howell said that in general, firefighters have been doing well throughout this fire season.

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

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