Wildfire destroys home, hurts businesses in Brian Head

According to the Brian Head Fire Dept, a Type 2 Incident Management Team took over the Brian Head Fire this morning.

"Dutch" Deutschlander; Keith Squires, commissioner of Public Safety; Brian Cottam, director of the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands; Michael Mower, deputy chief of staff to the Governor; and Bret Howser, Brian Head city manager. No injuries have been reported.

"Pretty much this whole town is threatened", Dixie National Forest spokesman Bode Mecham told the Tribune on Saturday night.

About 750 people were evacuated and a 15-mile (24-kilometer) stretch of Highway 143 was closed.

Hot weather is expected to be a challenge for firefighters battling the human-caused blaze that grew exponentially over the weekend.

Local, state and federal crews were first dispatched to the fast-spreading, up-slope fire shortly before 11:30 a.m. Las Vegas time, officials said. About 115 firefighters were fighting the blaze. On the ground, engines and crews are using roads and natural terrain features, such as meadows and ridges, to help contain the fire perimeter, the posted report said.

"With record high temperatures, no moisture and possible lightning strikes in the forecast, northern New Mexico is a tinderbox", forest officials said in a statement. They are working to protect the many structures and homes in the small resort community.

A separate brush fire gave residents on the northwestern edge of one of the New Mexico's most populous cities a scare Sunday as it sent up a long line of smoke.

Vanessa Coleman

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