Wildfire crews battle 6 fires; statewide update

Bear Fire. Photo: Utah Fire Info

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, June 12, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Wildfire fighting crews had a busy day on Saturday, battling six blazes in multiple counties across the state amid drought conditions and rising temperatures.

Here’s the roundup of current fires and updates:

East Canyon Fire

  • Start date: June 8
  • Acreage: 835
  • Percent contained: 45
  • Cause: Human/heavy equipment

“Evacuations have been lifted and SR-66 now open,” Utah Fire Info’s page says.

Broad Canyon Fire

  • Start date: July 11
  • Acreage: 97
  • Percent contained: Zero
  • Cause: Under investigation

“Crews have been making progress on the #BroadCanyonFire due to favorable conditions,” says a Utah Fire Info tweet issued on Saturday.

“Coordinated efforts from ground & air resources have been successful. Air resources have dropped retardant & water on much of the perimeter allowing for ground resources to safely engage.”

Bennion Creek Fire

  • Start date: June 4
  • Acreage: 6,382
  • Percent contained: 10
  • Cause: Natural

Information for the Bennion Creek Fire was updated last on Friday:

“The Bennion Fire is continuing to burn in the vicinity of Skyline and Starvation roads on the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Yesterday afternoon, strong winds caused rapid fire growth.  This resulted in fire crossing Starvation Creek into Schofield Estates, and the evacuation of the Aspen Cove subdivision. Crews were able to successfully protect all structures in the affected areas and have constructed line around the fire east of Starvation Creek.

“Tomorrow (Saturday) crews will continue to secure lines and scout for additional control features and opportunities west of Starvation Creek. Structural triage and defense will continue.”

Bear Fire

  • Start date: June 8
  • Acreage: 9,800
  • Percent contained: 5
  • Cause: Under investigation

“As of 6 a.m. on June 12, 2021, the Bear Fire is mapped at approximately 9800 acres,” says a Saturday statement from Utah Fire Info.

“Downslope winds in the canyon overnight aided in vegetation consumption along Highway 6 and north of Helper, continuing the good work done by firefighters during the day to prevent the fire from impacting or spotting across the highway. These winds, which were localized to the bottom of the canyon, caused no issues with previously established containment.

“Today, crews will prioritize building line along Ford Ridge on the western edge of the fire. They’ll be working their way up the Spring Canyon Road to scout opportunities for suppression as close to the current fire edge as possible.

“The weather today is expected to be hot and dry, with temperatures over 100 degrees likely. This warming trend is predicted to continue into the weekend. A Red Flag Warning has been issued for tomorrow based on these conditions.”

Pack Creek Fire

  • Start date: June 9
  • Acreage: 5,164
  • Percent contained: 6
  • Cause: Human/abandoned campfire

“With more firefighters and support personnel arriving in Moab this morning, the Great Basin Incident Management Team 4 will continue building containment lines, focusing on the Pack Creek community to ensure that the area is safe for evacuated residents to return to their homes,” says a Saturday statement issued by Utah Fire Info.

“Crews from Rocky Mountain Power have restored electricity in Pack Creek. The fire stands at 5,164 acres, with 0 percent containment, but incident managers expect containment numbers to grow by Saturday evening. Manti-La Sal National Forest officials are developing an area closure order for the west face of the La Sal Mountains today to maintain public safety and allow incident crews to safely access fire lines.

Mammoth Fire

  • Start date: June 5
  • Acreage: 709
  • Percent contained: 46
  • Cause: Lightning

A statement issued Saturday by Utah Fire Info says Saturday’s plan was for crews to continue to backhaul water handling equipment and begin fire suppression repair in areas of the fire where containment has been achieved.

“Firefighters will continue felling of dead or partially dead trees called snags that pose a hazard near structures and along roads. Fire resources and equipment will be released from the Mammoth Fire to assist with other emerging large fires in the state of Utah.”

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