Hot dry winds Friday and Saturday pushed the Lake Fork Fire to the southeast while increasing the burned area to 1086 acres. The fire is burning in pinyon and juniper along the northwestern face of the Wasatch Plateau. The Forest Service is managing the fire for resource benefits, and will take action to suppress it if lives or property are threatened.
Smoke and flames are visible from the North Sanpete Valley, along Highways 89 and 6, and North Skyline Drive. People traveling in the area are urged to use caution, staying alert to distracted drivers. Those who wish to view or photograph the fire should pull off the road to do so.
Fire activity and smoke are generally greatest during the late afternoon, when temperatures are highest and humidity is lowest. Smoke may be a temporary inconvenience. For public and firefighter safety the Manti-LaSal National Forest has closed the Ives Canyon Trail (Forest Service Trail No. 325) and Ives Canyon Road (Forest Service Road No. 172) in Utah County.
The fire was started July 2 by lightning in the Lake Fork Canyon area.
Fires for resource benefit allow fire to play its natural role in the ecosystem, which accomplishes many resource benefits.
Beneficial fires restore and maintain healthy forests and rangelands which improves wildlife habitat and winter range for mule deer and elk.
Managed fires can also reduce the risk of catastrophic wildland fires by reducing hazardous fuels. Agencies that have been using resource benefit fires are showing a reduction in the risk of large-scale fire.
It is important to recognize that these fires are actively managed. Managers continuously review the fire's progress and weather forecasts to determine if the fire will stay in pre-designated boundaries and if resource objectives are being met.
Managed fires are often a long duration event. They may burn all summer until snow or rain puts them out or they may burn only one or two days.
Fire managers would like to remind everyone to be especially careful and fire conscious while recreating this summer.