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Fire east of Cedar City grows to 566 acres; southern Utah under red flag warning for wildfire risk

(U.S. Forest Service-Manti-La Sal National Forest)



CEDAR CITY — Nearly 300 homes in a village near Mammoth Creek have been evacuated as a wildfire east of Cedar City grew to 566 acres overnight, authorities say.

Multiple structures are being threatened by the blaze but none have been lost, U.S. Forest Service officials said on Sunday. Fire managers are requesting the public avoid the area, Cedar Mountain Fire Protection District officials said.

In the nearby Mammoth Creek Village, 280 homes and 150 people have been evacuated, said Kevin Abel, Dixie National Forest public information officer, adding that most structures are cabins and many are vacant.

The fire is being fought with 14 fire engines, three single-engine air tankers and five crews responding, U.S. Forest Service said earlier Sunday.

The fire is 0% contained, Cedar Mountain Fire Protection District officials said.

The Mammoth Creek fire sparked on Saturday at 11:55 a.m. in the Dixie National Forest and its cause is still under investigation, the U.S. Forest Service said. The fire was approximately 400 acres on Saturday.

The evacuation comes the same day a red flag warning went into effect across most of southern Utah until 10 p.m. on Tuesday. A red flag warning means that an area is experiencing the ideal weather conditions for wildfire, such as strong winds and low humidity. Wind gusts of 35 mph are expected across most of southern Utah in the coming days, per the U.S. Forest Service.

When a red flag warning is in effect, the public is asked to not burn anything, and to check that recent fires are safely put out.

Stage 1 fire restrictions were also implemented in southwest Utah by Dixie National Forest Fire Managers on Friday. Under Stage 1 restrictions, building or maintaining a campfire, charcoal, coal or wood stove are prohibited. Smoking outside, welding, operating an internal combustion engine such as the type used in power tools like a chainsaw, discharging a firearm outside of a lawful hunt, and setting off fireworks are prohibited until further notice.

When an area of at least six feet or more is cleared of flammable materials — such as grass and brush — propane and gas stoves, grills or lanterns with shut-off valves are permitted to be used, Cedar Mountain Fire Protection District said.

"Preventing wildfires keeps communities and firefighters safe (by) reducing their risk and exposure to injury, smoke, and disease," Cedar Mountain Fire Protection District officials said.

Contributing: Tania Dean, KSL TV

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