TOQUERVILLE, Utah (ABC4) – Firefighters are battling the Toquerville Falls wildfire they say started yesterday afternoon, and as temperatures are rising, so are their concerns.
Officials say they are calling 50% containment and it’s human caused, but they’re still investigating the 20 acre fire.
“It’s like walking in a boulder field of lava rock, with isolated pockets of heat throughout, so they’ve got a lot of water with them, they’re carrying a lot of weight on their shoulders and backs, they definitely have a long operation ahead of them for the next couple of days at least,” says Nick Howell.
Nearly 30 firefighters are working on the fire and on Sunday, air crews also responded.
“When aircraft is ordered for these fires, these fires get really expensive really fast, when retardant is dropped on a fire, fires automatically go into the hundreds of thousands of dollars typically,” says Howell.
Howell says spring rains helped the grass grow which makes their job more difficult.
“We’ve had bigger fires this year but with the ample amounts of grass, we’re seeing bigger fires going into the month of June,” says Howell.
Interagency fire restrictions were implemented last week in southwest Utah and the Arizona Strip.
“At this time we’re really hoping that the monsoonal moisture does come through the area this year, and provides a little bit of relief starting in July,” says Howell.
Local leaders say they only expect calls to rise as they see an influx of new residents and recreators.
Howell says while human caused fires are down since 2020, he wants to remind people to be careful when outdoors.