WASHINGTON CITY A change in the direction of the wind sent the Turkey Farm Road fire to the east, where hundreds of homes off Green Springs Drive were directly in the path of the fire, as air tanks and firefighters worked to create a line of fire. to prevent the fire from spreading further.
Shortly after 1:30 p.m., the Turkey Farm Road fire, which was reported shortly after 9 p.m. Monday, caught fire after burning over 1,660 acres overnight, Christian Venhuizen with the Office of Land Management he told St. George News early Tuesday, adding that the crews would have a battle on their hands with a red flag warning in effect.
As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, the fire has increased to more than 11,700 acres, Venhuizen said.
That was the case when strong winds changed direction Tuesday afternoon, causing firefighters to lose containment of the fire that was spreading eastward by then, where it continued through an expansive area into the large subdivisions of Green. Springs Drive.
It was then that several planes, including very large tankers, or V-Lans, according to Venhuizen, were brought in to slow down falls and water by creating a line of fire to prevent the fire from spreading closer to the residential area. The bombardment continued for hours as the plane fell fire retardant, one after the other in rapid succession, to create a line of fire to prevent the fire from spreading closer to the residential area.
“The line of fire is holding up right now,” he added.
Aerial tanks and other planes filled large tanks with water supplied by the upper pond of the Green Springs golf course.
One of the tankers, a DC 10, and one of the largest aircraft used in the fight against forest fires, was called in from Arizona to assist in the effort. Contains 12,000 gallons of water or retardant that can be dropped into a continuous stream that spans over a mile.
Authorities also released an alert announcing an evacuation of all visitors to the north end of the Quail Creek Reservoir, as “a helicopter will take quail water today,” said the alert issued at 1:30.
More than a dozen Washington City Police officers were also dispatched to the area to cordon off the streets and begin evacuating residents after an order was issued, the Washington City Police Chief said, Jason Williams added that the order was lifted less than 45 minutes later and residents returned to their homes.
While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, authorities have reason to believe it was caused by fireworks. Fire investigators are seeking public help to identify three teens who were seen driving a white sedan on Cottonwood Road around 9 p.m. Monday. Anyone with information that can help investigators identify the suspects involved should call 435-704-4456.
Multiple state and local fire departments responded and continue to fight the aircraft-mapped fire to determine a more accurate level of containment later in the evening, if weather conditions allow.
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