UPDATED: Enterprise residents under evacuation orders as massive wildfire spreads in northwest Washington County

CEDAR CITY — A fire known as the Flatt Fire, which started Friday afternoon in Beryl, consumed at least one structure and caused the evacuation of residences in the area. Then, as the wind-driven flames came close to reaching the town of Enterprise, the blaze was met by a sizable response both on the ground and from the air.

A fire ignited by lightning in Beryl has grown to 5,000 acres and has caused area evacuations, Beryl, Utah, June 18, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

According to information posted by the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 1:20 pm, a fire started near 2000 S. Old Modena Road in Beryl. The fire appears to have started from a lightning strike near the area, the statement said.

As of 9 p.m., the fire had reportedly burned at least 7,000 acres, including at least one structure in the Beryl area and possibly two more in the northern part of Enterprise.

Evacuation orders were issued for the area from 2000 S. Old Modena Road east to 2400 West and south to Enterprise.

 Enterprise Mayor Brandon Humphries told Cedar City News just after 7 p.m. that they had evacuated approximately 50 homes within a subdivision nestled in the foothills in the northern part of town.

 “This fire’s acting very erratically. It’s huge, and conditions are a perfect storm,” Humphries said.  “We have whirlwinds within it that are causing it to act in ways that you’ve never seen.”

 “As you can well see, we have all kinds of aircraft here, we have all kinds of people on the ground, that are doing everything they can to take care of this fire,” he added. “Our main goal is for public safety and making sure that lives are protected. Homes can be replaced but lives cannot. It’s hard to say that with the emotion that’s going on, but right now, that’s our main goal.”

Washington County Fire Warden Adam Heyder said approximately 150 personnel were actively fighting the fire, coming from various agencies around Southern Utah and even some from out of state. In addition, approximately 10-15 aircraft were deployed to drop retardant on the fire, including a DC-10 Air Tanker with a capacity of 12,000 gallons. The air attack was suspended when the sun went down, but Heyder said it would resume Saturday morning.

Scene of a wildfire burning near the town of Enterprise, Utah, June 18, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Heyder told St. George News at 9:30 p.m. Friday that structure protection efforts in Enterprise would continue throughout the night.

No injuries have been reported.

The American Red Cross has opened an evacuation center at Enterprise High School, 565 S. 200 East, for residents affected by the Flatt Fire. They also are reminding people in the surrounding areas to be prepared for wildfires and other emergencies. Current hot, dry conditions are helping fires across the state spread quickly.

Download these apps by searching for “American Red Cross” in your app store or at redcross.org/apps. The Red Cross Emergency App can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts, including wildfires.

Updated 9:19 p.m. Information about the number of homes evacuated was added, as well as information regarding the name of the fire and the evacuation center set up by the American Red Cross.

Updated 10:30 p.m. with additional information and photographs from the scene in Enterprise.

Updated 11:30 p.m. The video was updated.

Updated June 19, noon. – Firefighters continue to battle 10,000 acre wildfire near Enterprise (click here)

This is a developing story. More information will be provided when it becomes available.

This report is based on comments by police and emergency personnel and may not include the full scope of the findings.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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