The United States Forest Service has closed Blind Canyon Trail and the Birdseye Quarry Road for the safety of the public and firefighters traveling in the northern area of the Lake Fork Fire. Earlier closures of Ives Canyon Trail, Ives Canyon Road, Dry Creek Trails and Dry Creek Road remain in effect.
Some residents in the area have expressed concerns about the movement of the fire and the increased smoke in the afternoons. The fire was started July 2 by lightning and is being actively managed for resource benefits. The fire is moving to the east and has grown to 1,626 acres.
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. The objective is to reduce pinyon and juniper trees, which often crowd out more beneficial plants needed for healthy wildlife habitat and range.
The fire has attracted much attention because smoke and flames have been 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 usually greatest during the late afternoon, when temperatures are highest and humidity is lowest. Smoke may be a temporary inconvenience.
Managed fires often last a long time. They may burn all summer until snow or rain puts them out.
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.
Fire managers would like to remind everyone to be careful and fire conscious for the remainder of this summer and into the fall season.