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Wind-whipped fire chars 700 acres southeast of Overton

Updated September 22, 2023 - 9:32 pm

Erratic winds are whipping a 700-acre wild land fire southeast of the Overton area Friday evening.

Burning on the east side of Mormon Mesa near the Virgin River about 13 miles southeast of Overton, the Huntsman Fire ignited about 2:40 p.m., “prompting a swift and coordinated response from multiple agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, National Forest Service, National Park Service, and the Moapa Valley Fire District,” according to a Clark County Fire Department news release.

The fire is burning to the north, away from population, said Fire Chief Stephen Neel of the Moapa Valley Fire District

The fire quickly expanded to approximately 700 acres, challenging firefighting efforts due to strong and erratic winds, the release said.

Crews have identified and are utilizing natural fire breaks and conducting back burning operations to control the spread of the fire. These strategic efforts aim to prevent the fire from advancing further into the surrounding areas.

“The situation is dynamic, and authorities are actively monitoring the fire’s progress,” Neel said. “The safety of residents, firefighters, and the preservation of our environment remain the top priorities.”

He advised residents and visitors to stay informed, follow evacuation orders if issued, and cooperate with authorities.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. About 30 firefighters are battling the blaze, Neel said.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com.

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