If you have been in the valley this past week, you first noticed plumes of smoke coming from behind the mountains to the south and recently from the Browns Point trail to the southeast. The first fire was in the Oak Grove Campground and then Friday morning another fire started in the Browns Point Trail area. Helicopters were deployed to reduce fire spread and ground personnel are now at the fire site.
According to a news article, the estimated size of the fire was at 0.5 acre at the time of discovery and the cause of the fire is undetermined. The fire is burning Ponderosa Pine, Oak Brush and mixed conifers and Browns Trail is currently closed. The video above is of one of the larger helicopters dipping water from the reservoir and the stills below show the fires from a few different locations. The first two are from the St. George side earlier in the week
Oak Grove Fire
Oak Grove Fire
Brown's Point Trail
If you enlarge this one, you can see the helicopter dropping the water on the fire.
Helicopter getting water at the reservoir--the fire fighter there, said that computer tell the system how much water can be carried depending on the amount of the fuel left (and thus total weight) The computer also tells the system the ideal time to drop the water.
Thanks to the Pine Valley firemen who cleared a landing space behind the fire station, the helicopters were able to land to bring in personnel and supplies. I'm sure that they all appreciated being able to get directly to the valley with this recently cleared out landing space.