Update from The Spectrum @ 05:41 pm
An air tanker drops fire retardant on the fire burning near New Harmony. / Asher Swan / Daily News
NEW HARMONY – Emergency officials have sent out reverse 911 calls to put residents in Kanarraville on standby for evacuations. A wildfire raging out of control has jumped Interstate 15 and is headed north toward the town. The fire began near New Harmony at 1:50 p.m. One structure has been destroyed, more are being threatened. Emergency officials evacuated areas in New Harmony threatened by the fire.
I-15 is now closed at exits 42 and 51. There is no containment at this time. Emergency officials are routing traffic through Kanarraville.
Nick Howell, New Harmony Fire Information Officer, said one firefighter received first and second degree burns, but has been treated and released from a nearby hospital. Howell could not verify whether that hospital was Valley View Medical Center.
Howell said the fire is human caused. Evacuations are in affect for residents in the immediate fire threat area. The fire started at 1:50 p.m.
Howell said one unoccupied home has already burned and numerous structures are threatened. Additionally, he said, one vehicle has been damaged. He also said Highway 144 is closed until further notice.
Kevin Kitchen, Public Involvement Manager for Utah Department of Transportation, said the fire danger in New Harmony Area has mostly passed. He said evacuees could return to their properties soon, but the fire is continuing to move north and threaten I-15.
Dozens of new Harmony residents are currently clustered around the Texaco near state Route 144 waiting to see if their homes were spared from a brush fire that started earlier this afternoon.
Rick And Christa Beckman live in the path of the fire and said they noticed the fire at approximately 2:50 p.m.
Christa said she first noticed a pillar of smoke but by the time she had her animals and child safely away it had destroyed at least one home in a subdivision near new Harmony.
“There’s no way they could’ve survived,” Christa said. “There was at least one completely up in flames and another with the fire edged right up next to it.”
The Beckmans said they believe their home is safe but are worried about their friends and neighbors.
Evacuees are being directed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel in Kanarraville.
Resources deployed to fight the fire, Howell said, include two Type III helicopters, three single-engine air tanker planes, 10 fire engines and one small hand crew.
Howell said the fire is threatening utilities in New Harmony, and some parts of town do not have electrical power at this time.
Firefighters from various agencies are fighting the fire. Those include fire departments from Cedar City, Kanarraville, Leeds, New Harmony as well as the available state and federal units.
We have a reporter and photographer on the scene. We will provide more information as it is made available.
Written by The Spectrum & Daily News
Original article from thespectrum.com
Article Link: http://www.thespectrum.com/viewart/20120627/NEWS01/120627009/Wildfire-triggers-evacuations-closes-15-near-New-Harmony?odyssey=mod|defcon|img|Frontpage
Update from KSL.com @ 05:39 pm
NEW HARMONY, Washington County — Multiple fires have been reported in central and southern Utah, with structures and communities in danger.
An out of control fire is burning east of New Harmony, with multiple structures and homes in risk of fire danger. There has already been one structure lost to the fire.
Evacuations have been reported for residents in the immediate fire threat area in New Harmony. Highway 144 and I-15 have been closed from milepost 42-51. Traffic is being diverted to Highway 91 in Kanarraville.
The fire is said to be human caused, starting at approximately 1:50 p.m. At 4 p.m. the fire had burned an estimated 30 acres, but has since increased to approximately 1,000 acres.
Multiple agencies have reported to the New Harmony Fire, including the officials with the Bureau of Land Management and the Cedar City Fire Department. Helicopters are working to contain the fire from above.
The American Red Cross has set up an evacuation center for individuals at an LDS meetinghouse in Kanarraville (80 South Main Street).
Josh Furlong, ksl.com Managing Editor – Email: [email protected]
Original article from KSL.com.
Article Link: http://www.ksl.com/?sid=21022563&nid=148&title=multiple-communities-evacuated-as-3-new-fires-rage