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I-15 reopens as Lime Fire grows to 3,000 acres on Utah-Arizona border

Posted at 10:46 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 11:18:20-04

Interstate 15 just south of the Utah-Arizona border has reopened Tuesday after a wildfire broke out near the Virgin River Gorge.

READ: Wildfires make summer air pollution more harmful and sustained

The Lime Fire has grown to an estimated 3,000 acres by 9 a.m., with high winds and the area's current drought conditions hampering efforts to fight the fire. Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

Wildfire burning near Virgin River Gorge in Arizona

Around 9:40 p.m. Monday, the Arizona Department of Transportation announced that both directions of the highway were completely closed with no estimated time of reopening. However, the road was reopened around 6 a.m. Tuesday.

No structures were threatened in the fire as crews attempt to limit the spread by containing it within an area previously hit by fires this year, according to the St. George News.

Wildfire burning near Virgin River Gorge in Arizona

“We’ve tied this north end in pretty good, but the south end is what we’re worried about right now,” said Chief Jeff Hunt with the Beaver Dam Littlefield Fire District. “We’ve got several type six engines, several type four engines and a water tender. No aircraft until morning because they can’t fly at night, so right now we’ve just got a whole bunch of engines.”

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The fire is the third in the past month month to spring up in the same area of highway.