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Front Page » July 19, 2007 » Local News » Crews monitoring wildfire hot spots
Published 2,471 days ago

Crews monitoring wildfire hot spots


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher


A helitac crew works to refuel a machine at the Carbon County Airport on Wednesday morning just before it left to reconnoiter the Mathis fire.

The Mathis fire continued to smoulder in spots on Wednesday. But the wildfire has burned out for the most part.

"This morning, all the outside crews are leaving," explained incident commander Hal Stevens. "Some of them are going home for a couple of days, others are being sent off to other fires."

Tuesday's rain in the Book Cliffs soaked the ground down about an inch and the moisture helped the situation, said Stevens.

However, the accompanying lightening created several problems.

"We actually had two more fires start up yesterday (Tuesday)," indicated Stevens. "One was by Desert Lake in Emery County. Some volunteers took care of that one. It burned about three acres. The other one started across the canyon from the Mathis fire. We could see it and we called in our helitac unit to dump some water on it. It looks to be out."

The incident commander said the rain received in the area is a mixed blessing because it can hide fires for up to a couple of days.

"What will happen is that it will smoulder in the brush for a few days and, then as things dry out, they will burst out in flame," stated Stevens. "We just have to keep our eyes open."

While the outside ground personnel will be gone, Stevens said the helitac crew would remain at the site through Wednesday.

Hot spots are still burning inside the confines of the Mathis fire lines, and officials are keeping a close watch on the situation.

"We don't think anything can get outside the containment area," pointed out Stevens. "But we will keep watching it."

Reports have been called in by residents since Tuesday indicating that people had seen more fire in the area, continued the incident commander.

The incident commander was going with the helitac unit on Wednesday to check out the reports.

As of Wednesday, the national fire center listed 61 major and large blazes burning in the United States.

Many firefighters involved in the Mathis incident have gone to southern Idaho and northeastern Nevada, where 12 blazes are burning.

Some of the wildfires in Idaho and Nevada are of considerable size.



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