MILLARD COUNTY, Utah, July 5, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Canal Fire near Leamington in Millard County has burned 78,005 acres and is 83% contained, officials said Sunday morning.
The fire first broke out Friday, June 26 at approximately 4 p.m. and was estimated at 450 acres.
On Saturday, June 27, Utah Fire Info said the fire was 100% contained, but the next afternoon, Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox tweeted:
“Unfortunately we have bad news on the Canal Fire in Millard County near Oak City. Because of strong winds the fire has escaped containment and is threatening structures.”
Residents of Fools Creek and Leamington were evacuated last Sunday but the evacuation notice has since been lifted.
An update on the Utah Fire Info website Sunday said: “The size of the Canal Fire increased slightly on Saturday due to minimal fire growth and more accurate mapping performed overnight by an infrared flight.
“Firefighters put in another solid day of work Saturday, continuing to secure containment lines. The only uncontained edge of the fire is a small section of rocky, rough terrain on the north side of Fool Creek Peak. Crews in this area will continue to put in line today, working to stop the fire from moving any further south toward Oak Creek Canyon.
“Elsewhere on the fire, full containment has been achieved,” the post continued. “Today crews will work to reinforce the lines they’ve built. They are continuing to use infrared data collected during an overnight flight to find and put out hotspots inside the fire perimeter.”
The post said starting Monday, the forecast calls for five consecutive days of Red Flag or near Red Flag conditions in the area. The firefighters assigned to the Canal Fire will remain in place through the end of the Red Flag period.
The Fishlake National Forest has closed Oak Creek Canyon Road and the campground on the Fillmore Ranger District for public and firefighter safety through July 15. Fool Creek Canyon Road and Leamington Pass are also closed.
The fire was caused by lightning.
Gephardt Daily will update this story as more information is released.