Third fire erupts near East Carbon
Bureau of Land Management and Utah Department of Forestry Fire and State Lands (UDFFSL) officials along with local fire crews are battling three fires currently in Southeastern Utah along the Bookcliffs and near the town of East Carbon.
According to Area Fire Management Officer Rudy Sandoval, UDFFSL fire fighters were pulled from their work in Pole and Cottonwood Canyon to battle a grass and brush fire which erupted near the town of East Carbon at approximately 3:15 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
Sandoval stated that the fire was just north of East Carbon's old golf course and had engulfed five acres of land as crews worked the fire near 3:30 p.m.
"The cause of this fire is still under investigation," said Sandoval from the scene. "It's just kind of weird for it to come up out of nowhere like this."
Sandoval had pulled a type one helicopter off the Bear Canyon Fire in Pole Canyon to use its 150 gallon bucket on the grass fire. The crews are pulling water from the Sunnyside CoGeneration cooling pond near the suburb of Sunnyside.
Before the grass fire erupted, smoke jumpers and the type one chopper were working to put down the 10 acre Bear Canyon Fire and the nearly 20 acre Cottonwood Ridge blaze. According to Sandoval, both of these fires in the Bookcliff Mountains were started by lightning.
Southeastern Utah Area Manager for the UDFFSL Jason Johnson reported Tuesday morning that an eight man smoke-jumper crew was set to attack the Bear Canyon Fire at noon with assistance from the chopper which would be pulling 150 gallon water loads from the Grassy Trail Reservoir.
After smoke-jumpers used hand tools to dig suppression lines on the fire's right flank Monday night, Johnson was hopeful that eight additional jumpers and the chopper would be able to put the fire out by Tuesday night.
The addition of the third fire to the crew's plate may throw a wrench into those plans however, as the helicopter was pulled off the Bear Canyon area to battle burning grass near the town of East Carbon.
As state lands and local officials work the grass and Bear Canyon situation, BLM officials continue to fight at 15 to 20 acre fire on Cottonwood Ridge. According to Sandoval, a type one chopper is also dropping water on that fire, pulling water from the Green River.
Check the Sun Advocate for more information and images as they become available.