Thread: UTAH 2009 Starts
06-30-2009, 12:24 PM #1
UTAH 2009 Starts
Prescribed burn under way in Manti-La Sal Forest
June 30th, 2009 @ 7:39am
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A national forest service ranger says a prescribed burn in the Manti-La Sal National Forest has scorched about 400 acres over two days of operations.
Ferron/Price District Ranger Mesia Nyman says the goal of the West Scofield prescribed burn is to remove about 3,000 acres of brush and other fuels inside a 13,000 acre area. Part of the area borders a residential area west of Scofield Reservoir.
Fire operations began Sunday. Nyman says crews used hand torches to light the fire and plan to use helicopter torches on Tuesday to increase the blaze area.
Some roads, trails and recreation areas are closed during the controlled burn, including the Fish Creek National Recreation Trail, Fish Creek campground and the Gooseberry Silver Creek Trail.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
07-01-2009, 07:46 PM #2
Tooele Grass Fire Ignites.
Grass fire forces out campers in Dry Canyon
July 1st, 2009 @ 3:02pm
TOOELE COUNTY -- A grass fire has erupted up Dry Canyon, east of Stockton in Tooele County.
So far, the Soldier Fire has burned four acres near a campsite forcing the evacuation of campers.
The Tooele County Fire Department and the firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management are on scene fighting the fire.
Stockton is less than 10 miles southwest of Tooele.
Last edited by UTFFEMT; 07-01-2009 at 07:55 PM. Reason: Add PhotosFront line since 1983 and still going strong
07-06-2009, 01:24 AM #3
New Start near Indianola
Wildfire in Lake Fork Canyon area allowed to burn
July 5th, 2009 @ 6:53pm
PRICE - Lightning sparked a fire in the Lake Fork Canyon area, but the U.S. Forest Service plans to let it burn.
According to the Forest Service, the fire started on July 2nd about eight miles north of Indianola.
Officials say the fire will play an important role in controlling and restoring the natural landscape. They do plan to monitor the blaze in case it becomes a threat.
Officials say smoke and flames may be visible from North Skyline Drive, Sanpete Valley and along Highways 89 and 6 for the next few weeks.
Forest Service officials say that by letting this fire burn, they are reducing the threat of larger wildfires later in the summer.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
07-15-2009, 01:18 AM #4
Wildfire near Panguitch burns 2,600 acres
July 14th, 2009 @ 7:50am
PANGUITCH, Utah (AP) -- A wildfire in southwestern Utah has burned about 2,600 acres and is considered 25 percent contained.
The Horse Valley fire southwest of Panguitch is burning mostly in conifer and aspen forest. Over the weekend, strong winds and thunderstorms complicated firefighting efforts. Fire officials say spot fires -- blazes ignited by embers swept into the wind -- continued to be a problem.
On Monday, officials said there were 280 people working on the fire.
Lightning ignited the blaze July 2 about three miles north of Panguitch Lake.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
07-22-2009, 12:35 PM #5
Fire Prompts Road Clusure
Fire prompts trail, road closure in Utah County
July 22nd, 2009 @ 6:33am
PRICE, Utah (AP) -- A U.S. Forest Service road and a hiking trail in Utah County have been closed because of a fire that has burned about 600 acres.
The Lake Fork fire started July 2 and is burning in the Manti-LaSal National Forest.
Forest officials on Tuesday said they were closing the Ives Canyon Trail and Ives Canyon Road because of the fire.
The fire, about eight miles north of Indianola, is mostly burning in pinyon and juniper.
The Forest Service is allowing it to burn to benefit the natural environment. Forest officials say they'll move to suppress the fire if it begins to threaten lives or property.
Last edited by UTFFEMT; 07-22-2009 at 12:56 PM. Reason: add photoFront line since 1983 and still going strong
08-01-2009, 09:47 PM #6
Crews look to reopen Zion Road after fire
Crews look to reopen Zion scenic drive
August 1st, 2009 @ 4:47pm
ZION NATIONAL PARK, Utah -- Wildfire crews hope to reopen a scenic drive in Zion National Park by Sunday.
Officials closed the Kolob Canyons District to fight the Cliffs fire this week. The closures included a five-mile scenic drive and four hiking trails in the area.
Lightning ignited the blaze on Bureau of Land Management land Tuesday night, and moved into Zion on Wednesday.
It has since burned more than 300 acres in the park.
Fire crews say they hope to have it completely contained by the end of the day Saturday. They expect to reopen the scenic drive Sunday.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
08-04-2009, 04:12 PM #7
Utah County Fire Continues to brun
Fire continues to burn in Utah County
BIRDSEYE, Utah (AP) - A wildfire in Utah County has burned more than 1,000 acres over the last month.
The fire has been burning since it was started by lightning July 2 in the Manti-La Sal National Forest.
The U.S. Forest Service is managing the fire while allowing it to burn in pinyon and juniper, reducing hazardous fuel sources in order to prevent more serious fires in the future.
The Ives Canyon Trail and Ives Canyon Road have been closed because of the fire, but no structures have been threatened.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
08-06-2009, 02:24 PM #8
More Lightning Fires start
Lightning sparks fires in Bountiful, Tooele
Published: Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009
BOUNTIFUL — Early morning storms led to two new lightning-caused fires, one near Tooele and one near Bountiful.
South Davis Metro Fire Deputy Chief Jeff Bassett said firefighters are currently fighting a one-acre fire on a mountain between Centerville and Bountiful near the Centerville overlook. Their crew is fighting the blaze along with a crew from the National Forest Service.
Though the fire is still small, Bassett said it "putting out a lot of smoke" and that winds are currently fueling its growth. It is in a remote area at this point.
"It's not around any buildings or houses," he said. "It's almost on the top of the mountain."
He said their current strategy is to fully suppress the fire with the aid of a plane that will "drop some cover and then, hopefully, we'll put it out."
According to dispatchers, the fire in Tooele County is burning in Settlement Canyon and also started Thursday morning and is in an area that is only accessible on foot.
The Tooele County Fire District is currently working to put out the blaze and have called Northern Utah Interagency Fire to help.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
08-06-2009, 08:46 PM #9
Northern UTah Fire Update
Storms creating fire hazards across the state
August 6th, 2009 @ 5:00pm
NORTHERN UTAH -- Storms late Wednesday and early Thursday changed the intensity of Utah's wildfire season overnight. The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for most of the state. That means firefighters can expect significant lightning, hot and dry conditions, with a lot of wind.
The ridge over Davis County took off quickly Thursday morning as Chopper Five captured the initial attack. Firefighters battled the blaze from the ground and the air, but no firefight will be simple.
What causes lightning?
Some rain drops are positively charged, while the ground may be negatively charged and like walking on carpet and touching something metallic and you get a small shock. The atmosphere becomes significantly charged in opposite sides and as it equalizes, lightning may form going from ground to cloud, cloud to ground, cloud to cloud or cloud to air. The energy in one average thunderstorm could be harnessed to run Salt Lake City for nine hours. -KSL Meteorologist Dan Pope
State Fire Management officer Tracy Dunford said, "In the last 24 hours we've picked up, at last count, 22 new starts. There's a handful that are challenging us."
A helicopter, small air tanker, and 30 firefighters contained the Overlook Fire in the hills above Bountiful. Lightning struck just above the V on the mountain. Flames scorched more than 6 acres.
Firefighters quickly contained most of the starts, but the barrage tapped out their initial attack resources.
Fire started by lightning just above the V in the hills above Bountiful. Dunford explained, "To get that many new starts, coupled with the wind and warm temperatures and low humidities, yeah, we got busy real fast."
Live 5 VIPIR recorded nearly 120 lightning strikes on the Northern Wasatch Front in a 15 minute period Thursday morning.
Over several hours, VIPIR logged more than 1,000 strikes. Dunford said, "If it gets to a point where we have to, we will prioritize incidents and take care of the ones we know we can take care of."
And the ones that present the greatest risks. In Tooele County, the Settlement Fire does not threaten homes, but officials warned campers in the area that that they may have to evacuate at a moment's notice if the fire spreads quickly.
Fire officials are requesting the voluntary evacuation of campers at the Wapiti Boy Scout Camp.
Up to this point, the fire officer says we've had a slower than usual fire season.
But most of the fuels across the state are very dry, and it doesn't take much in these conditions for a fire to go from 10 acres to 10,000 very quicklyFront line since 1983 and still going strong
08-08-2009, 04:44 PM #10
Salt lake clezning up after Fires
Firefighters cleaning up
Blazes stretched departments' resources thin
By Pat Reavy
"It was one of those nights that is once in a career," said Salt Lake City fire spokesman Scott Freitag.
An extraordinary evening of wildfires burning at nearly every end of the Salt Lake Valley stretched the resources of local fire departments as far as they could possibly go Thursday night.
"I can't recall a time we have been so busy at the same time with so much fire in this valley," Freitag said. "There were times (Thursday) night we had just enough resources to handle everything coming in. If we had had one more incident, we would have had trouble getting to it. At one time, all three of our radio channels had working incidents. I can't recall ever having that."
Mop-up work at some of the remaining hot spots continued Friday.
In addition to the fires in Salt Lake County, there were more than a dozen fires in Utah, Tooele, Davis, Juab, Sanpete and Weber counties Thursday.
A haze of smoke blanketed the Salt Lake Valley from at least four major fires all burning at the same time.
Story continues below
The fire that caused the most problems in Salt Lake County was near Salt Lake City International Airport, where strong and erratic winds fueled a brush fire that started near 700 South and 4800 West about 6:30 p.m. About 80 acres were blackened. The cause of the fire was still being investigated Friday.
The fire forced the closure of I-80 for about two hours. The wind eventually pushed the fire over I-80 and carried it toward the airport.
The situation became very tense at one point while I-80 was closed and the wind changed direction, pushing the flames toward the road.
"We were concerned we were going to lose vehicles," Freitag said. "You could tell in the voices of veteran firefighters this was an extremely dangerous and unpredictable fire. We had to actually open the freeway long enough to get the cars out of there. Those were some very tense moments. (The fire) kept jumping fences and ditches and roads."
The wind also created problems for planes landing at the airport. Three flight attendants on a Delta flight from Oakland, Calif., to Chicago had to be checked in Salt Lake City when severe turbulence tossed them around during landing, causing bumps and bruises, said airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann.
The high winds forced the closure of the airport's western runway for a couple of hours, Gann said.
A total of 17 flights were diverted, landing in either Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho, or Rock Springs, Wyo., until they could return to Salt Lake City and land, she said. The runway was reopened for departures only by 10 p.m. The majority of diverted flights came back about midnight.
By that time, however, most passengers had missed their connecting flights. Between 200 and 250 people were forced to spend the night in the airport. Mattresses were handed out to those people, and one of the concession stands stayed open late for them, Gann said.
By 8:30 a.m. Friday, all of the stranded passengers had been placed on connecting flights and had left Utah.
The fire destroyed a restroom at the Wingpointe Golf Course. There were no injuries.
While crews were battling the fire near the airport, at least three other fires around the valley kept crews busy.
The largest was a four-alarm fire at the landfill in South Jordan. The fire forced the closure of state Route 111 near the Old Bingham Highway. Crews needed about six hours to bring the fire under control.
Crews from the Unified Fire Authority were called to a two-alarm fire at a vacant house about 8:45 p.m. Thursday. When they arrived at the house, near 1600 East and 4500 South, they found the structure fully involved.
UFA Capt. Clint Smith said the biggest challenge for firefighters was preventing high winds from pushing the flames to other nearby structures. Crews needed about three hours to put the fire out. A cause was still being investigated Friday.
Story continues below
Also in Salt Lake City Thursday night, remaining crews that were available responded to a house fire near 1900 South and 1000 East that left four people homeless. No one was injured.
"We were so busy last night," said Freitag, who noted that firefighters who were off duty were called to help.
Officials Friday were keeping an eye on the weather as another front was expected to blow into the Salt Lake Valley by the afternoon.
"We'll get a weather report every two hours. Every hour we'll check the areas (at the airport), make sure there are no new flare-ups," Freitag said.
Last edited by UTFFEMT; 08-08-2009 at 04:52 PM. Reason: add photoFront line since 1983 and still going strong
08-11-2009, 03:36 PM #11
Salt lake County Brush Fire
Fireworks spark field fire in Butterfield Canyon
August 11th, 2009 @ 11:14am
SALT LAKE COUNTY -- Someone with illegal fireworks is to blame for a field fire that burned five acres in Butterfield Canyon Monday night.
The fire started around 10:15 p.m. on a hillside about one-fourth mile from the mouth of the canyon. Crews extinguished the fire quickly.
Investigators with Unified Fire Authority believe a Roman candle hit dry grass and sparked the fire. They don't know who set off the firework.
Igniting any type of firework is illegal in Utah outside of the Fourth of July and 24th of July holidaysFront line since 1983 and still going strong
08-12-2009, 05:10 PM #12
Cedar City Fire is put out
Fire off I-15 in Cedar City now out
August 12th, 2009 @ 11:04am
CEDAR CITY -- A fire burning in southern Utah is out, but firefighters are still keeping a close eye on the area.
The flames scorched dry grass right off the freeway near Cedar City. Fire crews had to shut down I-15 for about two hours Tuesday afternoon while they fought the blaze. They also evacuated some nearby businesses.
Firefighters were able to douse the fire but stayed to watch hotspots.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
08-19-2009, 08:48 PM #13
Utah County Fires Suspicious
Investigators calling Utah County fires suspicious
August 18th, 2009 @ 6:42pm
Read it in Spanish
UTAH COUNTY -- Firefighters made significant progress Tuesday in fighting two wildfires in Utah County.
The Mapleton Fire, which has burned almost 150 acres in Mapleton Canyon, is now 100 percent contained. The Hobble Creek Fire, which has burned roughly 200 acres in Hobble Creek Canyon, is 75 percent contained.
Fire investigators say they have a pretty good idea as to how the fires started, but they are not releasing many details. Witnesses say there was an older-model SUV in both canyons when the fires started, leading investigators to call the fires suspicious.
In both cases, the spot where the fires started is right off the road.
"Cigarettes, trailers, you know, start fires as well. So, at this point we don't know," said Jennifer Sullivan, with the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.
It's too soon to say these fires are arson cases, but investigators say the cause is no doubt human and suspicious.
Helicopters have been dumping water on the flames, and more than 100 firefighters are on the ground digging fire lines. The biggest help, however, has been the weather.
"The cool temperatures--about 3:00 or 4:00 this morning the fire actually laid down, so it kind of just calmed down," Sullivan said. "We're not seeing much flames. And you know, it's just right now, it's mostly burning in the interior. So, it's not, the fire's really not growing at this point."
Crews also received reinforcements from out of state Tuesday. Forest service spokesperson Loyal Clark says three 20-person hot shot crews arrived from Nevada Tuesday morning. In addition, they got the help of a sky crane helicopter from Pocatello, Idaho, that can carry large amounts of water. Other helicopters and air tankers have already been working the fires.
Clark says both fires are burning up the mountains away from homes, but the flames are reaching steeper areas that make them more difficult to fight.
Travel in the canyons has been restricted, and fire officials are asking people to stay out of the area so the fire suppression crews can move freely without dealing with traffic from onlookers.
------Front line since 1983 and still going strong
08-21-2009, 11:50 AM #14
Utah County Fire update
Forest Service hopes to calm fears over central Utah wildfire
August 20th, 2009 @ 10:02pm
By Alex Cabrero
BIRDSEYE -- A wildfire burning in Utah County has had fire crews on it for six weeks now, but those crews aren't trying to put it out. Instead, they're letting it burn to clear out all the thick brush, which will help prevent more severe fires in the future. But letting it burn has sparked a little controversy.
The Forest Service had a lot of phone calls from worried residents since the fire began with a lightning strike on July 2. It's burning in the Manti-LaSal National Forest near Thistle and Birdseye, and so far it has burned about 1,600.
Bill Robinson has called the small town of Birdseye home for the past seven years. He's been a cowboy longer, so when he first saw flames and smoke near his ranch and firefighters on the job, he didn't get worried.
"They know what they're doing," Robinson said. "Sometimes the wind changes their mind, but that happens."
Besides, Robinson feels a little fire is good for the land in the long run.
Forest Service fire managers hold informational meeting Thursday night in Birdseye about the wildfire "Mother Nature springs new life, and it will be more beautiful there than ever," he said.
The U.S. Forest Service feels the same way, so forest rangers have been letting the Lake Fork Fire burn while they manage it, making sure it doesn't get too close to homes, property or grazing land. But letting it burn has caused concern for some residents.
"They've had questions about when are we going to stop the fire? Questions about what about the smoke?" said Forest Service spokeswoman Rosann Fillmore.
The Forest Service had so many calls it decided to hold an open informational meeting Thursday night in Birdseye about the fire, but only a handful of residents came to the meeting.
"I'd like to see a lot more people out here because it's educational," said Indianola resident Steve Roylance.
Still, Forest Service officials spoke to those residents, answered questions and tried to reassure them the fire is under their control.
"Our fire managers manage the fire. They have fire lines in place and have decided the boundaries fo this fire, and they will take action to keep it within those boundaries," Fillmore said.
Fire managers say there are crews available to them if the fire gets out of control, but they do not anticipate that. The fire is burning slow, and they'll let it go as long as they can. Last year they managed a fire that burned until the first snowfall.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
09-01-2009, 04:03 PM #15
Mill Flat Fire Update
Crews continue fight against Mill Flat Fire
August 31st, 2009 @ 10:10pm
By Nicole Gonzales
NEW HARMONY -- Hundreds of firefighters from all over the Intermountain region battled the Mill Flat Fire Monday in southwestern Utah. Their work seems to have paid off, as the Great Basin Incident Management Team says the fire is now 5 percent contained.
Nearly 700 firefighters from all over the Intermountain region arrived Monday to help fight this fire, which has now burned close to 10,400 acres.
New Harmony residents react to destruction
The growth of this fire has taken a lot of people by surprise. It doubled in size in 24 hours. Jerry Hales was evacuated Saturday night.
"Well, we had got a warning earlier. My wife and grandson were here," Hales said. "They put important documents in the car and pictures and genealogy."
Hales returned to his home Monday to find it was still standing. Others who live in New Harmony weren't as lucky.
Quentin and DJ Morisette had been working on their million-dollar home since 2003. It sat on 20 acres of beautiful countryside; now it resembles something out of a horror movie--bent metal, charred trees, a home reduced to ash and debris.
"Twenty acres of heaven is now gone," Quentin said. "This was our dream. This was our home here in the valley. This is where we wanted to be."
So far, the fire has burned 11 structures in the Pine Valley Mountains between Cedar City and St. George. The flames came close to 20 structures in the subdivision of Harmony Heights Sunday night. Extra resources were assigned to that area and remained there Monday.
Fire crews fight flames from several angles
Most of the crews were on the ground, with increased efforts on protecting structures in New Harmony, Harmony Heights, Kolob Ranch and Bumblebee.
Four Hotshot crews were assigned to getting into the fire to attempt to knock it down, while seven Type II crews worked the outer areas. There were 30 engines total.
Related: Some question wisdom in letting wildfires burn
Two government-managed fires that blew up into big problems over the weekend have raised the heat on a political issue: Should fires be allowed to burn, and should "designated wilderness" get the blame?Fire officials say they treat the fire as one big action, but at the same time separate it into four to five divisions of this mountain, attacking it from all sides.
Even though evacuations have been relaxed, fire officials still recommend staying out of town, because with these winds, the fire can turn quickly.
Residents in those areas are not under mandatory evacuation. However, they're still on a one-hour alert for emergency evacuations.
"There's a lot of fuel that has been burnt, but there's still a lot of fuel out there. And with the erratic winds--I mean you can feel the wind blowing right now--as this wind picks up and different terrain features, it'll change direction on us. So we'll see what the fire does," Mazzier said.
The Great Basin Incident Management Team says a lot of fuel in town has already been burnt, but there's still a lot of fuel out there. Plus, with the erratic winds and harsh terrain, the fire can quickly change direction.
To hinder those fast runs down slope, heavy air tankers and helicopters dropped water and retardant on the fire all day Monday.
The incident commander told the community Monday night that he expects the wind to die down significantly in the next two to three days, but he said it's still going to take time to put the fire out--probably another 10 to 12 days.
Forest Service officials say the Mill Flat Fire started on July 25 by a lightning strike and was burning safely under supervision until it got out of control on Saturday. Fire authorities think it could take another week to put out the fireFront line since 1983 and still going strong
11-06-2009, 12:57 PM #16
Farmer starts Filed Fire
Fire burns 100 acres near Fayette
November 5th, 2009 @ 8:53pm
FAYETTE -- A field fire got out of hand in Sanpete County Thursday evening near the town of Fayette.
A farmer who was burning a field lost control of the blaze, and it quickly burned 100 acres or so.
The farmer used his tractor to help cut a fire barrier, and local firefighters and a Forest Service wildlands crew helped contain the fire.
They kept it on the east side of Highway 28, and it didn't damage any structures or injure anyone. The fire did, however, burn some fences.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
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