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1250 acres burned in Southern Utah fire

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IVINS -- The barn fire burning on the Shivwits Indian Reservation in Washington County has burned close to 1250 acres, is approximately 75 percent contained according to the Bureau of Land Management. Officials said full containment could happen by late Sunday evening.

About 100 residents were evacuated as the fire started burning Friday afternoon, but all of them were allowed to return to their homes as of 10 p.m. Friday night.

"Things are looking better this morning," said Nick Howell, with the Bureau of Land Management's Color Country team. "The fire activity is minimal and we're trying to knock out as many hot spots as we can."

Things are looking better this morning. The fire activity is minimal and we're trying to knock out as many hot spots as we can.

–Nick Howell

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag wind warning for the area this afternoon with gusts reaching between 20-30 miles per hour.

Those heavy winds could make the fire grow and spread again.

Although one barn was burned, fire fighters were able to keep the fire from burning any homes.

"One home was about 100 feet from the fire line," said Rachel Tueller with the BLM's Arizona Strip District, "but crews were able to keep the flames away. Most of the homes were about 400 feet from the majority of the fire perimeter."

Old Highway 91, which runs through the reservation, is still closed between Kayenta and Gunlock Road. Fire officials are asking people to avoid the area to make room for fire equipment and crews.

Gunlock residents who want to drive to St. George are asked to go through Veyo.

"The fire looks real good now. We're just putting out the last of it," said Jeremy Ybright, a fire management officer with the Bureau of Indian Affairs Southern Piute Agency.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office says the cause of the fire is still being investigated, but early reports are the fire started from sparks when two men were using a blow torch to cut metal from a trailer.

Fire crews are still working on determining how much of the fire is contained.

A planning meeting is scheduled for fire officials at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, where more information will be released.

The fire is located about 10 miles northwest of St. George.

Story written by Alex Cabrero with contributions from Jasen Lee.


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