Thick black smoke and flames were visible from the freeway Sunday as this structure on Lees Ferry Avenue in Desert Springs burned. Photo by Stephanie Clark.

Local fire departments stayed busy this weekend, as crews from the Virgin and Moapa Valleys responded to multiple blazes.

Friday afternoon, around 4:45 p.m., Bunkerville and Mesquite responded to a brush fire near the Sunroc Cement plant off of Riverside Road. Just an hour later, multiple calls began flooding the Mesquite Dispatch Center for several fires burning along the Virgin River, just north of the Bunkerville Fire Station and the community park.

According to Clark County Assistant Fire Chief Larry Haydu, water tenders and engines were requested from Logandale and Moapa as well as the BLM, who responded with three engines, an all-terrain vehicle and a single engine air tanker, which dropped fire retardant on the area several times. Haydu assumed command of the scene, which was eventually released around midnight. As with the other fires in Bunkerville, these two are still under investigation.

Not much was left from the structure that burned Sunday, other than shells of vehicles and tires that were left after the fire. Photo by Stephanie Clark.

On Sunday, crews from Bunkerville, Mesquite and BLM assisted Beaver Dam Fire on a structure fire on Lees Ferry Avenue in Desert Springs, where they found a garage or carport fully engulfed in flames, sending off a black plume of smoke.

Friday night’s fire at the Virgin River near Bunkerville sent smoke throughout Mesquite for several hours. Because of the location of the fire, and the inability to effectively access it, the BLM utilized its aircraft tanker and dropped several loads of fire retardant to maintain containment. Photo by Stephanie Clark.

The cause, according to initial reports from Deputy Chief Andre Ojeda, the residents of the property were cutting metal or welding at the time the fire was ignited.

“We cannot stress enough how important it is that people pay attention to what is going on around them,” said Ojeda. “Keep a hose or fire extinguisher close by if you know you are dealing with something that could cause a fire. It’s that simple.”

Ojeda had just returned two hours before the fire from working the Brian Head fire in Utah, where Beaver Dam Fire Chief Jeff Hunt is still working. While that fire is also under investigation, the BLM website has deemed it human caused, and some sources believe it was similar to two other fires experienced in Beaver Dam last month, where property owners were burning brush around their house and the fire got out of hand.

“This is definitely a dangerous year for fires,” said Ojeda. “We need to stop and think about what we are doing before we do it and make sure that this doesn’t keep happening. We have been fortunate that no lives have been lost, but look at how many people have lost their homes because of someone else’s carelessness.”