WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah – The Saddle fire near Pine Valley has grown 141 acres to 1,470 acres in Washington County; it is only 5 percent contained.
Fire crews are using ground and aerial ignition operations, including a plastic sphere dispenser to remove fuels from the path of the fire in order to prevent the fire from spreading east toward the Pine Valley Recreation Area and south towards Dammeron Valley area.
The attack strategy in Forsyth Canyon includes indirect firing operations using control lines in Forsyth Canyon, natural barriers on the main ridge, and utilizing the 2005 Dammeron fire scare to the south.
Authorities said 731 personnel, engines, heavy equipment and aircraft are working to suppress the fire.
Besides direct attack, day crews improved fuel breaks and scouted the terrain, while night crews patrolled and monitored the fire area to pick up any spot fires.
The fire remains most active in the Lloyd and Forsyth canyons.
Voluntary evacuations remain in place for Pine Valley, and the road into Pine Valley is open to property owners at this time.
The Pine Valley Recreation Area in the Dixie National Forest remains under an indefinite area closure to all uses until the order is rescinded.
The Saddle fire began June 13 with a lighting strike on Saddle Mountain in the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness of the Dixie National Forest.
The fire started almost 3 miles south west of Pine Valley, Utah.