Oak Grove Fire continues to grow as crews work to establish containment

Smoke from the Oak Grove Fire as seen from the east, Pine Valley, Utah, Sunday.

Smoke from the Oak Grove Fire as seen from the east, Pine Valley, Utah, Sunday. (Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, St. George News)



ST. GEORGE — About 30 hours after the Oak Grove Fire was first reported, the latest estimate from the U.S. Forest Service places the fire's current size at around 400 acres.

Kevin Abel, public information officer for the fire, said hand crews working on the fire were still trying to establish containment lines on the east and west sides of the fire perimeter in order to get the active blaze under control.

Abel said the steep, rocky terrain and thick vegetation were complicating factors for the fire response. Fire crews working to combat the blaze have to make their way through head-high vegetation, including the mahogany, chaparral and oak brush that are the fire's primary fuel.

With rain expected throughout Southern Utah beginning Tuesday afternoon, there is a chance that stormy conditions will affect the fire response.

"It's a two-sided thing," Abel said. "Anytime we get rain on a fire, it can absolutely help dampen the fire just as aviation assets put water on a hot spot. It can also affect safety factors. Does it come with lightning? Is it a flash flood? So it can help and it can hinder what firefighters are doing on the line."

Read the full article at St. George News.

Ammon Teare

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