Firewatch: Wildfires In Southern Utah Burn As Heat, Wind Continue

Jul 15, 2020, 1:22 PM | Updated: 8:15 pm
The Turkey Road Fire in Washington County burns on July 14, 2020 (Photo: Utah Fire Info)...
The Turkey Road Fire in Washington County burns on July 14, 2020 (Photo: Utah Fire Info)
(Photo: Utah Fire Info)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Crews continued battling multiple fires in Utah on Wednesday, and three fires in the southwest area of the state continued to grow amid dry and windy conditions.

Turkey Farm Road Fire

The Turkey Farm Road Fire burning in Washington County approximately three miles west of Washington City started on July 13 at approximately 9:10 a.m. and has burned 11,993 acres so far. It is zero percent contained.

“The fire is being driven by erratic winds,” according to Utah Fire Info. “A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the fire area today, (and) weather conditions will be a challenge for firefighters.”

At least one outbuilding has been destroyed, and other structures are threatened. However, no evacuations have been ordered yet.

Multiple roads have been closed, including secondary roads west of Washington City and north of St. George. Other closures include Turkey Track Road, Danish Ranch Road, BLM Road 901, Winchester Trail Road, Icehouse Trail, Yellow Knolls Trail, Black Gulch Trail, Middleton Trail and Mesa Rim Trail.

Currently, crews are attacking the blaze with six engines, two fuel squads, one water tender, multiple heavy air tankers and a T-3 helicopter.

Authorities determined it was caused by fireworks, which are currently illegal in Utah. According to the state’s fireworks code, the people responsible for the fire could face a fine of up to $1,000.

Veyo West Fire

The Veyo West Fire, located in Washington County near Veyo, has burned an estimated 2,900 acres and is zero percent contained.

The blaze forced the evacuations of several areas in Veyo and Brookside. Currently, evacuations remain in place for the west side of Veyo. It has burned one home and one outbuilding, and several roads are closed including secondary raods west of Highway 18 and north of Veyo.

Crews are fighting the wildfire with more than a dozen engines, three bulldozers, four water tenders, four helicopters and multiple air tankers. Multiple local fire departments are responding, as well as three Type I cres and four Type II crews.

Big Summit Fire

The Big Summit Fire is burning at the west of Iron County. It started approximately 17 miles northeast of Panaca, Nevada, on July 13. The cause is unknown. As of Tuesday, the fire had grown to 5,000 acres. It is 10% contained.

Residents of Hamlin Valley in Utah were evacuated as a precaution. One cabin under construction and an outbuilding burned between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

“Eastern Nevada and western Utah residents can expect to see smoke from the fire, as can motorists on state Route 319,” according to Utah’s Incident Information System. “The public is encouraged to stay out of the fire area due to increase in fire vehicle traffic.”

Other fires in the state include the Abbott Fire in Duchesne County (52 acres and 80% contained), the Split Fire in Uintah County (37 acres and zero percent contained), the Allen Fire in Dagget County (40 acres and zero percent contained) and the Mountain Home Fire in Weber County (78 acres and 50% contained).

The Pole Canyon Fire, ignited by heavy equipment near Cedar Fort in Utah County, has burned 300 acres and was zero percent contained.

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Firewatch: Wildfires In Southern Utah Burn As Heat, Wind Continue