More than a dozen wildfires and controlled burns have been reported across Utah recently. At least two of these fires can be seen from Carbon and Emery counties.
The Spring fire was ignited by lightning in the late morning on July 20. The fire report was called into Grand Junction Air Center shortly before 1 p.m. the same day. The air center is an interagency dispatch center used by the Colorado State Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. National Parks Service.
The fire was burning in the Dolores Triangle roughly 23 miles south of Interstate 70 along the Utah-Colorado border.
The Spring fire is currently burning in grass, sagebrush, piÃ¯Â¿Â½on and juniper on lands managed by the BLM. The fire started on the Utah side of the border and quickly burned over to the Colorado side. The fire covered approximately 1,400 acres as of Friday morning. The fire made significant runs Thursday when a dry storm cell moved over the incident.
Incident commander Clay Fowler reported on Friday that suppression efforts were going very well and that the fire received rain overnight. Fowler also expected to have 60 percent containment by end of shift Friday and 100 percent containment by end of shift Saturday.
Resources on the fire Friday included three single engine air tankers, one heavy air tanker, one air attack plane, six engines and one fuels squad. Fire officials had also requested the assistance of one helicopter, two Type 1 Hot Shot crews, two Type 2 crews and various overhead.
Cooperators on the fire include; Moab Interagency Fire Center; BLM in both Colorado and Utah; Mesa County, Colo.; Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit and many others.
A prescribed burn has been scheduled approximately one mile east of Ferron Reservoir. The burn will be ignited by helitorch (aerial ignition) on June 25 as weather allows and conditions are favorable and helicopter activity will last approximately two days.
The burn will continue until completed and is estimated to last about a week. By burning under controlled conditions, effects of the fire can be managed.
While the prescribed burn is taking place, the burn area will be closed to the public and there may be delays or temporary closures on Ferron Canyon Road, Forest Development Road (FDR) 022. Vehicles with high clearance may be routed around to the South Side Road, FDR 043. In addition, Willow Lake Campground, as well as, the trails in the Georges Fork, Cove Creek and Singleton Flat areas will be closed.
The following roads and trails will be affected by the prescribed burn:
Ferron Canyon Road (Forest Service Road (FSR) No. 022) Dairy Point to Ferron Reservoir
Duck Fork Road (FSR No. 049)
Singleton Flat Road (FSR No. 109)
Hunters Highway (FSR No. 314)
Singleton Flat Trail (Forest Service Trail (FST) No. 71
Cove Lake Trail (Forest Service Trail No. 73)
Willow Bunch Trail (Forest Service Trail No. 74)
Dairy Trail (Forest Service Trail No. 117)
Prescribed burns are used for a variety of resource benefits including improved wildlife habitat, reduced fuel buildup from insect killed trees and to support ecosystem diversity. Aspen stands provide critical habitat for many wildlife species and forage for livestock and wildlife. They also protect stream flows in critical watershed. Aspen is being lost by encroachment of conifers in the area slated for burning. Aspen regenerates by sprouting following a controlled burn or other disturbance.
Fire managers reiterated their request that users of public lands be especially careful and fire conscious while recreating this summer.
Information on both fires as well as other fires across the state is available at http://www.utahfireinfo.gov/.