ST. GEORGE — People around Washington County were able to see the thick plumes of dark smoke rising from an area near Sand Hollow Resort and the Long Valley Recreation Area. The brush fire, now known as the Dam Fire, has burned through at least 3 acres of land along the Virgin River.
The fire was first reported Wednesday around 4:30 p.m., and Washington County Fire Warden Adam Heyder told St. George News that the fire appears to have started in an area with a number of transient campsites.
“There was an old camp trailer with a bunch of garbage around it,” he said. “It was definitely human caused, and it had come from this camp trailer; it was fully engulfed, and the fire took off from there.”
A man who was nearby when the fire began was assessed for injuries and appeared to be suffering from smoke inhalation, Heyder said. After initially refusing care, he decided to accept transport to St. George Regional Hospital.
The fire was spreading slowly, and is not expected to be fully contained until sometime Thursday, Heyder said. While it started in the thicket of timber and bush along the Virgin River, the large flames sparked some of the brush atop the ridge and along Pecan Road, requiring firefighters to use shovels and water to put out hotspots.
“There’s a lot of thick, heavy fuel, so it’s a lot of chainsaw work,” Heyder said. “We’ll keep working on it until dark, and then we’ll be back out on it in the morning. I’d just stress to people to stay out of the area.”
There are no structures currently threatened by the fire, but there are high-tension power lines over the flames and some temporary structures related to the transient camps that may be threatened if the fire spreads, Heyder said.
Multiple agencies responded to contain the fire, including the Hurricane Valley Fire District, Washington City Fire Department, the Bureau of Land Management and the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.
There were some seven engines and a water tender at the scene, along with an air attack plane and five single-engine air tankers out of Mesquite that dumped water from above.
No arrests have been made at the time of reporting in connection with the fire.
This report is based on statements from police, emergency personnel or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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