BRIAN HEAD, Utah, July 8, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — The Brian Head Fire has grown to 70,589 acres and is 80 percent contained after it first sparked to life nearly three weeks ago, officials said Friday.
Late Friday, Utah Fire Information estimated the date of full containment as July 15.
The update at 8:14 p.m. Friday stated that “Thunderstorms caused wind-driven runs through sage flats and mixed conifer stands in the fire’s interior. Fuel conditions are dry enough that solar radiation played a small role in the fire. The fire continued to flank with group torching in the mixed conifer. Ignition operations combined with winds generated very active fire behavior.”
Panguitch Lake is open to all recreational activities. All other roads and residences within the fire perimeter are closed due to fire activity and utility work. A post from Utah Fire Info on Twitter reminded motorists that crews are still working in the area, and for their safety, you should not stop on the road. “Highway 143 is now open from Panguitch to Parowan,” the update said. “There is heavy fire and utility traffic in the area, as well as firefighters working on clearing dangerous trees. Please drive slowly and realize there may be long delays getting across the highway.”
The Brian Head Fire started around midday Saturday, June 17, and grew quickly through dense timber on lands administered by Brian Head Town, Iron County, in cooperation with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands. It has since burned onto lands managed by Dixie National Forest and Color Country District Bureau of Land Management. Cedar Breaks National Monument remains open, with access via Highway 14.