UPDATED: Rapidly growing brush fire near 1-15 draws quick response

An aircraft drops fire retardant on a brush fire burning near Interstate 15 Monday morning, Washington County, Utah, June 19, 2017 | Photo by Amy Palmer, St. George News

Updated June 20, 10 a.m.

The Snowfield Fire is now 100 percent contained and is holding at 140 acres thanks to a robust interagency response Monday morning.

ST. GEORGE – A brush fire near Interstate 15 at mile marker 33 that started Monday morning is growing rapidly and has drawn a quick response from fire agencies.

A brush fire burns near Interstate 15 Monday morning around mile marker 33 in Washington County, Utah, June 19, 2017 | Photo by Amy Palmer, St. George News

The Snowfield fire was reported at 9:48 a.m. Monday, Color Country Interagency Fire Center, dispatch manager Bill Roach said.

The fire, which is located north of Pintura, grew to 75-100 acres by noon.

The fire is burning on the west side of I-15 in grass and brush over moderately steep terrain.

The fire is considered zero percent contained, Roach said, and one structure a mile from the fire is considered threatened.

“Thankfully the wind’s not blowing 40 miles an hour right now,” Roach said.

Currently, four single engine air tankers and three heavy air tankers are attacking the blaze, along with seven engines and approximately 30 firefighters on the ground.

A brush fire burns by Interstate 15 Monday morning near mile marker 33 in Washington County, Utah, June 19, 2017 | Photo by Amy Palmer, St. George News

The fire is human-caused, Roach said.

“There was no lightning. That’s the only other option.”

The exact cause is under investigation.

The blaze is moving away from the freeway and hasn’t caused any traffic delays yet, Roach said, “but we’d sure like people to slow down.”

Roads adjacent to the fire are closed, including the frontage road near mile marker 33.

Roach advised residents to be cautious and avoid activities that can cause fires such as dragging trailer chains or pulling a vehicle onto dry grass.

“If at all possible, stay on the (road) surface.”

Read more: If it can spark, it can cause a fire’: Tips on preventing human-caused wildfires

Firefighters are hoping to make progress toward containing the fire Monday night.

“It depends on upon what kind of a job the aircraft do,” Roach said.

Agencies participating in the firefighting effort include Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and several volunteer fire departments from the area including Santa Clara.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • paul June 19, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Prob was a cigarette ,see that all the time, put it in your ashtray don’t flick it out your window some people not to bright

    • mesaman June 19, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Arrest and conviction of a wildfire arsonist should result in a class 3 felony with mandatory prison time.

  • Real Life June 20, 2017 at 12:54 am

    Human caused. Just stupid.

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