UPDATE : Firefighters Battling 1,100 Acre Fire on Shivwits Indian Reservation, No Evacuations in Ivins and Kayenta Yet

Shivwits Fire | Photo by Jen Watkins, St. George News

shivwits fire
Air support drops retardant and water on the fire. | Photo by Jen Watkins, St. George News

UPDATE: 10:22 p.m.  June 10:  Abbott advises that the plan remains to let residents back into their homes tonight.

There will be no more air support tonight.  A debrief is set for different commanders to meet at the Ivins firestation tonight to discuss where their efforts should be focused, tonight and tomorrow.  With cooling temperatures and wind reducing, the team of responders hope to contain the fire in the morning.

Abbot clarifies that “containment” means that more than likely the fire is not going to expand, so that they are able to allow the residents to get back in to their homes.  It does not mean the fire is out, but it has been stopped from advancing such that it threatens homes and structures within the Shivwits reservation and in Ivins and Kayenta.

UPDATE: 9:30 p.m. June 10:  Detective Nate Abbott advised that the most recent number is that 1,100 acres have burned.

“It looks  like the firefighters have been able to contain things pretty solid as far as the homes out there,” Abbott said.

Abbott said that they are still working on a few hot spots around the reservation, and are looking at a goal of getting people back in their homes by 10 p.m., which is a good thing, he noted.

Abbot indicated that some of the winds have been changing,  it started in the south, picked up in that direction, and that the firefighters are trying to get the fire stopped in light of those winds.

See video of the fire

IVINS – Another fire in Southern Utah has erupted this afternoon, is uncontained and is growing; as of 7:20 p.m., 800 acres have burned according to Detective Nate Abbott of the Washington County Sherriff’s Office, and the fire remains uncontained.

Helicopter at the reservoir

Abbott says that he has been told the fires started with some sort of cutting torch, someone cutting metal, around 2 this afternoon.

Obviously, Abbott says, the fire is growing and it is not contained at this point.  The wind is making it difficult for the firefighters as it keeps shifting direction.

“We have quite a large crew from Ivins, from St. George and from Bureau of Land Management – I think we should have plenty of fire fighters and we will get more if needed.”

“The air support has been fantastic.  Planes, helicopters, all doing drops and hitting hot spots.”

The fire is burning on both the north side and south side of Old 91 Highway, past Santa Clara, Ivins and centering on the reservation.

The only evacuations at this point, says Abbott, are within the reservation.

shivwits fire
Photo by Jen Watkins, St. George News

Concerning Kayenta and Ivins, Abbott says that reverse 911 alerts have been issued to notify residents they may be evacuated.  In addition to the reverse 911 alerts, he says that notifications are given door to door when evacuations are advised or required.

Abbott says that the public is urged to NOT come out to look at the fire.  Doing so plugs up the roads and makes it difficult for officials and supplies and other emergency to get through quickly and efficiently.

Abbott says that the dispatch of Utah fire fighting personnel to Arizona in the large fire burning there is not limiting or taxing the ability of fire fighters here for the need at hand.

St. George News will continue to update on facebook as this crisis develops.



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