Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for June 29, 2017
FIRE UPDATE: Brian Head and Panguitch Lake residents may return
As of 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 29, the Brian Head Fire is 15% contained. To date, it has burned 58,318 acres. There are 48 crews totaling 1729 people fighting the fire, with 14 helicopters and 82 engines.
The Red Flag Warning issued for Thursday has been cancelled, as winds appear to be calmer than previously forecast. Winds should stay calm into late next week, but temperatures will rise to above-normal as a high pressure system settles over southern Utah. Calmer winds will aid firefighters in their suppression efforts.
The Town of Brian Head and Iron County will lift the evacuation of Brian Head and Dry Lakes at 7 a.m. on Friday, June 30. Additionally, residents of Panguitch Lake and Mammoth Creek are being allowed to return to their homes today. Residents and visitors returning to the burned areas will likely see smoke coming from the interior of the fire where heavily timbered areas may continue to smolder. Firefighters will be patrolling containment lines around the communities and responding as necessary to any potential fire activity.
Utility work continues in Parowan Canyon. Additionally, standing dead trees are being cut down to minimize the number that may fall onto Highway 143. Many of these will be used on the hillside as erosion control for the rehabilitation of the fire area. As fire containment lines increase on portions of the fire, the assigned resources will be shifted to more active portions of the fire. Wednesday’s fire growth was primarily in the northwest corner of the fire perimeter. The fire has reached Five Mile Ridge and continues to encroach on the Panguitch Watershed.
CURRENT EVACUATIONS – The following communities remain evacuated per local law enforcement: Upper Bear Valley, Horse Valley, Beaver Dam, Castle Valley, Blue Springs, Rainbow Meadows, and Second Left Hand Canyon. Evacuees can contact the Red Cross for shelter information.
CLOSURES – Five Mile and Three Mile Roads are closed. Highway 143 is closed from the cemetery in Parowan to Brian Head and from the junction of 148/143 to Panguitch Lake. The Dixie National Forest has an area closure on lands north of Highway 14. Please check your route before planning recreational activities. Maps of the closure area are posted at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5253/. Anyone violating these closures may be cited.