West Valley Fire in southern Utah 28% contained; crews say drone intrusion inhibited firefighting efforts

Photo of Adam Boyer, Salt Lake 1 Unified Fire Authority Handcrew on the West Valley Fire. Image courtesy Utah Fire Info.

UPDATE: Containment on the West Valley Fire has increased to 28 percent Thursday, and the estimate on acreage remains at 11,716 acres.

Fire officials state that a drone intrusion occurred mid-morning Thursday within the fire perimeter, and they are reminding people there is a Temporary Flight Restriction in the area of the fire to protect attack helicopters and airplanes from collisions while fighting the fire.

“This drone intrusion grounded aircraft, inhibiting firefighting efforts until it was deemed safe to resume flight operations and suppression efforts,” a press release stated. “If you fly, we can’t. Help keep our firefighters safe by respecting the TFR and area closures.”

Crews say a thunderstorm may bring more moisture to the area this weekend, which may help firefighters grow containment of the fire.

SOUTHERN UTAH — The West Valley Fire in southern Utah has burned an estimated 11,716 acres as of Thursday morning is 20 percent contained.

The fire is burning about 10 miles north of St. George and at this point it has not prompted any evacuations.

As of Thursday there are about 647 personnel fighting the fire, which includes 20 hand crews, three Type-1 Helicopters, three Type-2 Helicopters, four Type-3 Helicopters, 18 engine crews, one bulldozer and one water tender.

Firefighters have been working to contain the fire using both personnel on the ground and resources from the air. The human caused fire sparked on June 27.

The fire has resulted in stronger fire restrictions for the area. Those restrictions include a ban on campfires, even in developed campsites.