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Utah-2008 Wildfire Season

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    Moab Update

    Full containment of Moab fire expected today
    October 24th, 2008 @ 10:15am
    (KSL News) Firefighters made significant progress on the Slough 2 fire burning near Moab.

    Utah Department of Natural Resources spokesman Jason Curry said containment of the 435-acre fire is at 88 percent, with full containment expected today.

    The investigation into the cause of the fire is still underway. Investigators have interviewed several witnesses and obtained photographs from the night of the fire.

    Officials are particularly interested in any information regarding unauthorized vehicle traffic in the marsh area between Oct. 21 and Oct. 22.

    Anyone with information on this or any other aspect of the fire is asked to call the Moab Sheriff's Office at 435-259-8115.
    Last edited by UTFFEMT; 01-29-2009, 06:43 PM.

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    Moab Update

    Crews make progress against Moab fire
    October 23rd, 2008 @ 6:30am
    Wind-whipped flames raged on the outskirts of Moab, but firefighters say they are making progress. Fire crews worked through the night trying to get a handle on that wildfire.

    At one point it burned dangerously close to homes, businesses and campgrounds. But this morning, all evacuation orders have been lifted and the threat to homes is diminished.

    Moab Valley Fire Chief Corky Brewer said, "The fire behavior is extreme. The area known as the Matheson Preserve is extremely hard to get into. We definitely can't get any vehicles in there, and we're having problems getting our firefighters in there."

    Officials say the fire has scorched more than 450 acres since it started late Tuesday night. It is only 5 to 10 percent contained.

    Investigators are still trying to determine a cause but say the circumstances are suspicious.

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    Moab Wildand Fire

    Moab wildfire forces some evacuations
    October 22nd, 2008 @ 7:32am
    (KSL News) Firefighters in Moab are battling a wildfire burning close to town this morning.

    The Slough 2 Fire started around 10:00 last night. Early morning winds today doubled the size of the fire, which now has burned about 400 acres in The Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve.

    Fire officials evacuated three RV parks and a neighborhood. People at the Archway Inn evacuated on their own. The Holiday Inn is on standby.

    So far no structures have been burned.

    Utah Department of Natural Resources spokesman Jason Curry said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

    Curry also said residents and travelers in the area should drive with caution due to heavy smoke and emergency vehicle traffic.

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    Moab Fire and Draper Fire Updates

    Moab wildfire grows; Draper fears flooding
    By Ben Winslow
    Deseret News
    Published: Friday, Aug. 29, 2008 10:02 a.m. MDT
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    A wildfire burning near Moab has exploded to 4,000 acres in size, with authorities worried that they may have to evacuate homes and recreation areas.
    The Porcupine Ranch fire is growing in hot, dry weather that is helping to push the fire. Columns of smoke can be seen as far away as Grand Junction, Colo.

    Historic structures are threatened in the Miner Basin area, fire officials said. Firefighters are watching to see if homes will be threatened.

    "We're not too worried because the fire has to cover a lot of ground in order to reach those homes," said Jason Curry with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

    Homes in the Bald Mesa area were evacuated on the first day of the fire, but that evacuation order has since been lifted. A hotline has been set up for homeowners regarding evacuations. That number is 435-259-3766.

    The fire has also led to flight restrictions in the Castle Valley area. A Federal Aviation Administration bulletin announced the restrictions seven nautical miles around the fire area.

    "There are some tour-based flights and they will be affected somewhat," Curry said. "Tourism is being affected. Porcupine Rim is a mountain biking route and the archery hunt is on right now."

    Story continues below
    The LaSal Loop from Geyser Pass to Castle Valley Junction is closed. Sand Flats Road is also closed. The Warner Lake and Mason Draw campgrounds are also closed.
    Massive amounts of resources are being diverted to battle the wildfire, which was sparked by lightning on Wednesday. Approximately 230 firefighters are on scene, as are heavy tankers, helicopters and local fire crews. The fire is currently 8 percent contained.

    The Porcupine Rim fire is one of five wildfires burning in Utah right now. A fire in Dinosaur National Monument has grown to 420 acres with no estimate of containment.

    Firefighters made significant progress in trying to contain the 775-acre Gate Narrow fire burning near the Tooele County town of Terra. The fire, which was started by a vehicle on Monday, is about 90 percent contained and is expected to be fully contained by Friday night.

    The 560-acre Lonesome Pine fire on the Juab-Utah county line near Eureka has been declared 100 percent contained, fire officials said.

    The 808-acre Corner Canyon fire near Draper has also been declared contained. The fire was human caused and still under investigation, Curry said.

    A meeting to review post-fire threats will be held tonight at 6 at Juan Diego High School for residents east of Highland Drive between Pioneer Road and the Equestrian Park.

    "There is an elevated risk of flooding, mudslides and debris flow in the residential neighborhoods east of Highland Drive in Draper," a public notice from the city said. "This is not a notice of evacuation or imminent threat, but rather an important opportunity to prepare for the aftermath of a major fire event."

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    Fire Update

    Small, expensive wildfire season so far
    Joe Pyrah - Daily Herald
    The first half of the fire season has been a small but expensive endeavor.

    Only about a thousand acres have burned so far, but they've been in tricky areas like Bridal Veil Falls and Spring Lake. Foot crews still can't reach the Bridal Veil fire and instead helicopters have to drop load after load of water.

    "You would need someone on a rappel rope and fighting a fire at the same time," said Jim Thomas, fire staff officer with the U.S. Forest Service.


    Using helicopters to fight fires isn't cheap. It costs $1,000 to keep the Forest Service helicopter in the air for an hour, and $1,600 an hour for the Bureau of Land Management helicopter. Combined with foot crews, it cost $30,000 for just four hours fighting a July 25 blaze on Y Mountain.

    "If it's just acres on Lake Mountain, you just let it burn. But if it's threatening a guys house it's different," said Utah County Fire Warden Delbert Jay.

    Exact numbers aren't available for how much has been spent this year, but county and federal officials say they will meet or exceed their budgeted amount for fighting fires.


    The low amount of burned acres can probably be tracked to a cooler, wetter spring. Thomas said that grass was about three weeks late getting to a state that's prime for wildfires.

    "We tried to do a burn-out one day and couldn't get the grass to burn," he said.

    Jay says that to this point, there have been more false alarms that actual fires. Most of that comes from lightening strikes where people think they see fire or smoke.

    But the fuel (grass) is now right where it's supposed to be, which likely means more fires. Even rain won't help much because it only keeps grass wet for a day or two and there is no new growth this time of year.

    "I'm not good at predictions," Jay said. "Theoretically, fire season should pick up."


    The state Department of Agriculture is handing out $2 million in grant money for prevention projects, two of which are in Utah County.

    The first is a $130,000 effort to plant 600 acres of fire resistant foliage on Lake Mountain. Because it is such a large area, reseeding the whole mountain is cost prohibitive. Instead, strips of forage kosha will be planted as a sort of fire break. The plant is also able to out-compete cheat grass, which further reduce fire danger.

    The other project is a BYU-based research effort to help ecosystems that are vulnerable to invasive species recover after fires.

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    Fire Updates

    Crews still working on several wildfires
    August 4th, 2008 @ 7:00am
    By Nicole Gonzales
    Firefighters are keeping busy as wildfires continue to burn across parts of Utah. Crews worked all weekend to try to contain several good-sized wildfires. They'll be back at it again today.

    These fires aren't as big as last year's, but they're still a headache to deal with, especially for the forest service. It has dealt with four fires burning at the same time, and it really got difficult allocating resources. That's been an obstacle with the Spring Lake fire near Payson.

    Loyal Clark of the U.S. Forest Service said, "We have our hands full, and because our resources are so short, the personnel that have been assigned to the fire have been here since it started."

    That fire is about 50 percent contained this morning. Crews from Nevada helped fight that fire yesterday. It has burned about 700 acres. Payson Canyon reopened Sunday evening.

    A fire that started on July 24 flared up again last night, burning another 5 acres. The Bridal Veil Falls fire was human-caused and ripped through an old restaurant.

    The forest service is monitoring the fire this morning to see what needs to be done. It says helicopters will definitely be used, maybe even a heavy air tanker.

    The Little Bald Mountain fire near Grantsville is still burning. It's burned 531 acres so far and is at least 15 percent contained. It was started by lightning on Friday. Until further notice, South Willow Canyon, North Willow Canyon and Box Elder Canyon are closed.

    Another fire started yesterday near Liberty because of a car crash that sparked brush. It spread 6 acres to a farm, burning a horse trailer, a garage and a car.

    In Duchesne County, crews have contained the Wagstaff fire, eight miles east of Tabiona. The blaze has burned 425 acres since Friday afternoon. Fire officials say lightning started that fire.

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    Wildfire update

    Three wildfires burning in Utah
    By Cheryl Madsen
    Deseret News
    Published: Saturday, Aug. 2, 2008 12:03 p.m. MDT
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    Three wildfires in Utah are still ablaze today as firefighters work to contain them.
    Near Payson, 60 homes were evacuated Friday night as the 1,000-acre Spring Lake Fire approached. However, the fire did not threaten any of the homes, and residents were allowed to return around midnight. This morning, the fire has shrunk to 700 acres, but has not been contained.

    U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Loyal Clark said Payson Canyon has been closed from the mouth to Maple Bench campgrounds. The upper campgrounds remain open and are accessible through Santaquin Canyon.

    Clark said the fire was started by a downed power line. The power company is still investigating the reason the line fell. Firefighters today are working to build fire lines near the north flank of the line. Helicopters continue to locate and dump water on hot spots.

    In Tooele County, the Little Bald Mountain Fire also continues to burn through South Willow Canyon, near Grantsville. U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Kathy Jo Pollock said the fire is still burning about 400 acres.

    Firefighters are working to construct a fire line and continue point protection to prevent the fire from spreading through campgrounds. There are eight 20-person crews, 13 engines and three helicopters working to contain the fire today.

    Story continues below
    The Wagstaff Fire, about 8 miles east of Tabiona, in Duchesne County, began about 1 p.m. Friday. The cause is still under investigation. The 400-acre fire is now 25 percent contained and is expected to be completely contained by 8 p.m. Sunday. No homes have been threatened, and no evacuations have been ordered.

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    Utah County fire

    Fire in Spring Lake forces evacuations
    The Daily Herald
    A brush fire in Utah County on Friday afternoon threatened several homes in the Payson area.

    Dispatchers with the Utah County Sheriff's Office reported the fire began south of Payson in the Spring Lake area at approximately 3:30 p.m., possibly as a result of a downed power line.

    No injuries were reported, but campers in the canyon as well as homes in the area have been warned that evacuation is a possibility.

    The Spring Lake Fire initially threatened six homes in the area, but the threat passed without damaging any structures, according to a sheriff's office news release.

    Firefighters from several surrounding agencies, as well as Utah County Fire and the U.S. Forest Service, were battling the blaze Friday evening as it spread into the mountain areas of Payson Canyon. As of 7:30 p.m. Friday, the fire had not been contained and was estimated to be approximately 150 acres in size.
    Last edited by UTFFEMT; 01-29-2009, 06:41 PM.

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    Salt Lake Fire Update

    City Creek wildfire 35 percent contained
    By Ben Winslow
    Deseret News
    Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 12:08 p.m. MDT
    1 comment E-MAIL | PRINT | FONT + -
    More smoke will be visible above downtown Salt Lake City today as the City Creek Canyon fire grows.
    The wildfire is now 35 percent contained, but fire crews hope to continue an attack on the blaze using air tankers, helicopters and ground crews hiking into the canyon to create a line around the blaze.

    "We have some line established," said Jason Curry with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. "There is quite a bit of retardant laid down and we're working on reinforcing that with hand crews."

    But as temperatures rise again today, firefighters said to expect columns of smoke to be visible for a second day. The U.S. Forest Service has said it could be at least a day or two before the fire is declared fully contained.

    "It's burning under that oak brush and dead leaves and stuff," said Kathy Jo Pollock with the Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

    The fire has burned about 135 acres of land owned by Salt Lake City's public utilities, authorities said. No homes have been threatened, but the fire is burning in an area near some radio communications towers.

    The fire is believed to be human caused. This morning, investigators are expected to travel to the scene where the fire started to begin looking for clues as to who might have started the blaze.

    Story continues below
    Air tankers, helicopters and ground crews have been deployed to the remote scene, which is accessible mostly by foot.
    "We have no engine access," Curry said. "But we have fairly good foot access."

    The City Creek Canyon loop road is closed, as are all of the popular trails going up the canyon. The upper part of Memory Grove Park is also closed

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    Provo Y Mountain Fire

    Fires strike Y Mountain, Provo Canyon
    All visible flames have been extinguished in two Pioneer Day fires that struck the Provo area.

    Two people were arrested and charged with accidentally starting a fire on Y Mountain, about 200 yards south of the Y, according to Provo Fire Department Battalion Chief Tom Augustus. William James Hebda, 23, and Camille Gardner, 20, were charged with reckless burning for reportedly starting the blaze with fireworks.

    Augustus said the fire has burned 10-20 acres on the mountain.

    A second fire is under investigation near Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon. The fire destroyed the abandoned Bridal Veil Falls Restaurant. The U.S. Forest Service is investigating the causes of both blazes.
    Last edited by UTFFEMT; 01-29-2009, 06:41 PM.

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    Moab Fire

    Fire chars 89 acres near Moab
    A wildfire has scorched 89 acres of wetland in Moab.
    The fire is fully contained but still burning. Workers were busy Thursday solidifying a 50- to 100-foot perimeter around the fire to prevent wind from pushing it any further, said Heather O'Hanlon, fire information officer for the Bureau of Land Management.

    Lightning ignited the Slough Fire at about 3 p.m. Tuesday. Officials asked for a voluntary evacuation because of potential smoke inhalation issues, O'Hanlon said.

    "The fire made some big runs, but the smoke was a bigger issue," she said.

    The marshy wetland is making it difficult to get to the middle of the fire to knock it down, O'Hanlon said.

    "We're going to probably have visible smoke and flames until it gets a significant amount of rain in the middle of it," O'Hanlon said.

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    Duchesne Fire Update

    Mill Hollow fire in Duchesne Co. expands from 533 to 668 acres
    Published: Saturday, July 19, 2008 12:07 a.m. MDT
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    The Mill Hollow fire burning in Duchesne County continues to expand, jumping from 533 to 668 acres on Friday.
    U.S. Forest Service information officer Venetia Gempler said additional crews were added to manage the blaze, which is being fanned by winds and fueled by bug-killed deadfall in the area. The fire, ignited by a single lightening strike, has been burning since June 23.

    The Mill Hollow fire is under a fire management procedure that controls a naturally ignited fire while allowing it to burn to control dangerous levels of fuel load.

    Also, a firefighter who was airlifted to the University of Utah Medical Center on Thursday was held for observation and released Friday morning. A U.S. Forest Service statement said his injuries were not as serious as first reported on Thursday.

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    Utah Firefighter Injured

    Firefighter injured in Duchesne County
    By Geoff Liesik
    For the Deseret News
    Published: Thursday, July 17, 2008 2:01 p.m. MDT
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    ROOSEVELT — A wildland firefighter has been injured while working on the Mill Hollow Fire in Duchesne County.
    U.S. Forest Service spokesman Louis Haynes confirmed that emergency medical crews are working to get to the injured firefighter. Haynes did not have any information on the nature of the injury, its severity, or the identity of the man.

    "All I know is we've got one hurt and they're going up there to take care of him," Haynes told the Deseret News.

    The Mill Hollow Fire has been burning since June 23 in the south unit of the Ashley National Forest about 15 miles north of Helper. It was sparked by a lightning strike and had grown to 533 acres by Wednesday night.

    The Forest Service is managing the fire — which is burning largely in stands of beetle-killed Douglas fir trees — for "resource management" to reduce dangerous fuel loads in the Mill Hollow area. The blaze is also burning stands of sub-alpine fir, aspen, pinion juniper and sagebrush.

    "It's doing good stuff out there," Haynes said. "It's low intensity; getting the beetle-kill taken care of for us so far."

    As of Wednesday night 43 firefighters, three engine trucks, two helicopters, and one hand crew of 15 firefighters were assigned to the blaze.

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    The Ourada-Soper Wildland Fire Use Management Team assumed control of fire operations from Ashley National Forest personnel this morning

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    Davis County Fire-Evacuations

    Brush Fire Forces Evacuations In Davis County

    Brush Fire Forces Evacuations In Centerville

    (File) Fire officials are investigating what sparked a late night brush fire that forced several residents from their homes in Centerville.

    Crews were called out to 700 East 200 South just before midnight. Crews arrived to find the field around a water storage facility on fire. Several homes were evacuated as a precaution.

    “We had some pretty high winds initially when crews arrived that was pushing the fire pretty hard, we just wanted to make sure we kept those people out of harms way,” said Chief Jim Rampton, South Davis Metro Fire.

    Crews were able to put out the fire in about fifteen minutes. About two acres were burned.

    Witnesses reported seeing sparks from a power pole that may have sparked the fire.

    Investigators are looking at surveillance video from the water storage facility to see if they can determine exactly how it started.

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  • volfirie
    We can always hope that you won't have to put in too many posts this season...

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