HELPER, Utah, June 10, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) – The Bear Fire, burning in Carbon County, was still challenging firefighters Thursday morning with zero containment reported overnight.
“We’re going to try to get the highway opened back up,” Type 3 Incident Commander Jason Porter said, “but it’s highly likely the fire will reach US-6 again today just due to the winds that are forecast.
“Our emphasis today is holding the fire west of US-6 and reinforcing the work we’ve already done to protect the Price River Water Improvement District water treatment plant and other structures near the fire.”
So, far, the Bear Fire, located about 4 miles northwest of Helper, has burned 5,479 acres based on an infrared flight conducted at about 1:30 a.m., according to fire commanders.
The lightning-caused wildfire started Tuesday, near mile marker 228 on US-6. The blaze reached US-6 Wednesday evening, forcing the highway to close.
US-6 remains closed in both directions from milepost 221 at the Emma Park Road junction to milepost 230 at the US-191 junction. There is no current estimate on when the lanes will reopen.
Drivers will need to use Emma Park Road and US-191 as an alternate route around the closure and should expect delays in the area. The detour route adds about 8 miles and 12 minutes to regular travel. Visit udottraffic.utah.gov, use the UDOT Traffic app or follow @UDOTTRAFFIC on Twitter for updates on road closures.
A dry cold front moving into the area is expected to bring 50 mph wind gusts Thursday, hampering firefighting efforts from the air.
The Bear Fire is sharing air resources assigned to the nearby Bennion Creek Fire. A Type 2 incident management team is expected to assume command of the fire on Saturday.
There are a total of five crews totaling 150 personnel , 12 engines, and a helicopter assigned to the Bear Fire as of Thursday morning.