Utah town evacuated as fires spread across state

Brian Head fire taken from Parowan Iron County Utah

Brian Head fire taken from Parowan Iron County Utah

The fire near the southwestern Utah town of Brian Head has destroyed one home and damaged another, with about 100 homes and businesses under immediate threat from the fire that's torched roughly 1½ square miles (2 square kilometers), officials said.

According to data posted Monday at utahwildfireinfo.gov, the fire was being fought with eight helicopters and 18 engines, by eight fire crews, with total personnel on the job numbering 364.

Ground crews are building firelines around the edges of the blaze while aircraft drop fire retardant near the perimeter to slow its growth. Firefighters said there was no estimate of how much of the fire had been contained in the initial hours since it was first reported. Winds should remain calm, which will aid firefighters in suppression of the fire. As you can see in the image above, at about noon on Saturday the flight paths of one of the Single Engine Air Tankers were concentrated south of Brian Head, on the west side of Cedar Breaks National Monument.

The evacuation orders for Brian Head are still in effect. But the fire spread rapidly after it started on Saturday, fueled by the heavy timber in the remote town in southern Utah.

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Gov. Gary Herbert plans to tour the fire-damaged area around the town of Brian Head in the Dixie National Forest on Tuesday afternoon.

Brian Head includes about 1,200 homes and condos, along with a handful of hotels and stores around the ski resort. The cause is still under investigation.

Further Updates to follow.

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