UPDATED: Fire officials provide details on Beaver, Marysvale wildfires

The Silver King wildfire burning in Piute County was reported to have consumed an estimated 5,400 acres near Marysvale, Utah, July 5, 2024 | Photo courtesy of Central Utah Fire Interagency, St. George News

MARYSVALE — The Silver King wildfire burning in Piute County was reported to have consumed an estimated 10,026 acres as of Monday morning.

The Silver King Fire has burned 1,100 acres in rugged terrain, outside Marysvale, Utah, July 6, 2024 | Photo courtesy Marysvale Fire Department, St. George News

According to a Central Utah Fire Interagency press release, the lightning-caused fire burning within the Fishlake National Forest—Beaver Ranger District is threatening historic mining structures approximately 8 miles west of Marysvale.

“Please avoid both the Beaver Creek drainage and the Bullion Drainage to provide safety for the public and firefighters,” the media release stated. “The Silver King Fire continued to progress through the evening hours. It is currently estimated at 5,400+ acres and is exhibiting extreme fire behavior.”

Firefighters and aircraft are working ahead of the fire to the east and the south, utilizing aircraft including multiple large air tankers, helicopters and ground resources such as dozers and other heavy equipment.

To reduce risks to the public and increase defensible space, fire managers are assessing additional plans of action while crews are engaged in structure protection as needed, the fire update continued.

“A red flag warning remains in place through 9 p.m. this (Sunday) evening, displaying record high temperatures, low humidities and winds up to 30 miles per hour out of the northwest,” fire officials stated.

The scene at the lightning-caused Silver King wildfire burning near Marysvale, Utah, July 7, 2024 | Photo courtesy of Marty Martak, St. George News

Updated at 8:18 a.m. on July 8: Firefighters are establishing an anchor point on the northwest side of the fire perimeter while efforts to cut fire lines to inhibit the spread of the blaze continue.

To the south-southwest, fire crews continue to strengthen the dozer line from from Beaver Creek to Deer Creek while structure protection remains a priority in the Bullion Canyon area.

A warming and drying trend will continue today with an excessive heat warning. As temperatures continue to increase above average, relative humidity continues to drop between 10-15%. Northerly winds with gusts around 25 mph on the ridgelines present Monday morning will decrease in the afternoon and then shift to the west—a combination that is expected to lead to extreme fire weather.

Updated at 7:30 p.m. on July 7: Utah Fire Info is reporting that the  Silver King fire burning approximately 4 miles outside of Marysvale has now consumed 10,823 acres and continues exhibiting extreme fire behavior.

“Engines, crews, aircraft, and dozers are working very hard in extreme conditions to mitigate fire spread where possible,” the media update stated. “Currently, fixed wing aircraft has been grounded because of the turbulent winds, and helicopters are still being heavily utilized. Firefighter and public safety remain the top priority.”

Fire officials held a briefing on Sunday with Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson to provide updates on the current fire situation.

The media release said on Monday morning a “Complex Incident Management Team (Great Basin Team 2) will take command of the fire.”

Little Twist

Also burning within the Fishlake National Forest – Beaver Ranger District, the Little Twist fire saw minimal change on Saturday.

The Little Twist wildfire burning in Beaver County was reported to have consumed an estimated 4,300 acres near Beaver, Utah, July 5, 2024 | Photo courtesy of Central Utah Fire Interagency, St. George News

According to public information officer Kylee Stott, crews are continuing their work along the perimeter securing and improving existing lines and preventing spot fires.

“Smoke will remain visible in the area as interior pockets continue to burn and clean up where higher concentrations of dead and down fuels exist within the perimeter,” the media update said. “A red flag warning is in place until Sunday evening. Fire behavior is expected to be active the next few days with hot, dry and windy conditions.”

The Little Twist Wildfire is reported to be 35% contained and estimated to have consumed 4,300 acres of woodlands in steep, rugged areas approximately 4 miles southeast of Beaver.

An area closure is in effect for the Little Twist wildfire. Please refer to Area Closure Order Number 0408-24-03 for details.

Please note: Little Reservoir, Tushar Lakeside, Kents Lake and LeBaron Campgrounds are open to the public for camping and recreational day use.

More heat?

The National Weather Service issued warnings of excessive heat for the days of July 10-13, also on Sunday.

The weather alert covered several Southern Utah areas, including Washington, Iron, Beaver, Garfield and Kane counties.

The weather service predicted excessive heat from Wednesday morning through Friday evening in south central and Southern Utah, with heat ranges above 100 degrees.

“Dangerously hot conditions with temperatures between 100 and 105 degrees possible,” the weather alert stated. “Heat related illnesses increase significantly during extreme heat events.”

Weather officials warned of the potential for long duration, dangerous heat wave and urged locals to prepare before going outdoors for extended periods.

“Heat stress is cumulative,” the alert said. “Temperatures over slick-rock and red rock will be even hotter. Consider hiking early in the morning or late in the evening.”

Other heat wave warnings to adhere to include:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room and stay out of the sun.
  • Check up on relatives and neighbors.
  • Do not leave young children and pets in unattended vehicles. Car interiors will reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.
  • Monitor the latest National Weather Service forecasts and warnings for updates.

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