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Brush fire comes too close for comfort in Wash. County neighborhood

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ST. GEORGE — Two homes received minor damage Wednesday from a brush fire near Winchester Hills.

Mike Melton, fire management officer for the Division of Fire, Forestry and State Lands said the fire was started by a trailer tire that became dislodged after a blowout on state Route 18.

"The hot metal from the wheel bearing ignited the grass," he said.

Armed with a garden hose and plenty of determination, Winchester Hills resident Bill Jordan wasn't going anywhere when he spotted the flames.

"We manage to stop it from turning the corner here," he said, pointing to an area near his neighbor's home.

Firefighters soon arrived and moved quickly to contain the blaze. They dug lines and did their best to keep it away from homes.

Still, some of the flames did reach one home, doing minor damage to some siding, fencing, and a few other personal belongings.

"I don't know if there is any damage to the structure itself," homeowner Travis Roberts said.

Winchester Hills resident Ann Craig couldn't believe how fast the fire burned. Besides her house, she was worried about the horses being kept on her property.

"In 10 minutes, it was clear up here," Craig said, gesturing to an area near her home. "I'm still nervous. My heart is really pounding."

By the time crews got the fire under control, it had burned between 15 and 20 acres. The firefighters say this is a perfect example of how dry the Utah climate is right now.

A portion of 2070 West near state Route18 was shut down as crews fought the flames.

Firefighters will spend the night mopping up hot spots.


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Benjamin Wood and Alex Cabrero


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