An evacuation of residents living in the Upper Bear Valley has begun as the Brian's Head fire approaches the homes. Residents were ordered to evacuate Monday morning as the fire has grown to 43,000 acres in size. To make matters worse, officials are concerned that weather conditions and strong southwest winds returning to the state could lead to even more growth on the already immense wildfire. Currently there are more than 1,100 people fighting the fire, including 50 engines, 36 crews, and 14 helicopters.
In addition to the new evacuation Monday, Panguitch Lake, Horse Valley, Beaver Dam, Castle Valley, Blue Springs, Rainbow Meadows, Mammoth Creek, Dry Lakes, Second Left Hand Canyon and Brian Head remain evacuated per local law enforcement, officials said. Highway 143 is also closed from the cemetery in Parowan to an area just south of Panguitch and Mammoth Creek Road is also closed at the junction with the highway. The Dixie National Forest also has closed all forest lands north of Highway 14.
So far the fire has destroyed 13 homes and eight buildings.
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