Photo courtesy of the Emery County Sheriff’s Office.
Fire Summary: The size is estimated to be approximately 2,269 acres. This fire behavior is currently crowning, torching and spotting in heavy dead and downed fuels during the day. The smoke from this fire has been visible in the region and communities surrounding the fire. Even with the cloudy weather yesterday there were windy conditions that led to fire growth. Most of the growth was towards the north and northeast towards Potters Ponds. Potters Ponds Campground along with the Lowry Water Road (FR 038), Millers Flat Road (FR 014) from Sheep Valley to the junction with Lowry Water Road, and the Potters Canyon Road (FR 271) are closed. Indian Creek Campground is also closed. There is a power line near Potters Ponds and a gas line to the northeast of the fire that have been turned off. Point protection for the Potters Ponds campground, power line, and structure protection for the cabins in Upper Joes Valley are priorities for firefighters today. Firefighters will continue actions to control the fire growth at the road near Potters Ponds and on the south east edge of the fire in the Lowry Water drainage by engines, hand crews, and air resources.
As the weather warms into the afternoon, smoke will be visible to the surrounding communities in the region.
Discussion: This fire is being managed for multiple resource benefits based on local fire plans that have been developed with public input over a period of years. Benefits of managed wildfire include reducing hazardous fuels, protecting human communities from extreme fires, and minimizing the spread of pests, insects and disease. They also open up the forest floor to enhance wildlife travel paths and provide additional forage for game. We also recognize the role that fire plays as a management tool. The goal of managing fires for resources benefits is to allow fire to resume its natural role in the ecosystem. Ultimately, this results in greater safety for both the public and firefighters as well as a healthier forests for everyone to enjoy. Additionally, protection of important infrastructure and values will be protected by firefighters as part of management of this fire. A structure protection group of fire resources is in place to prepare fuels around the upper cabins in Joe’s Valley and fight fire if needed.
Jurisdiction: Ferron/ Price Ranger District, Manti-La Sal National Forest.
Fuel Type: Aspen and Mixed Conifer
Structures and Closures: Potters Ponds Campground, Millers Flat Road (FR 014) from Sheep Valley to the junction with Lowry Water Road (FR038), Water Lowry Road (FR 038) and the Potters Canyon Road (FR 271) are closed. Indian Creek campground is closed. There is a power line near Potters Ponds and a gas line northeast of the fire. Access to the area where the fire is active is closed to the public and fire managers are asking the public to stay out of the area so that firefighters can focus on the fire and to make sure the public is safe.
Percent Contained: 0%-Managed fire with actions to protect important infrastructure including cabins, campgrounds and power line.
Fire Crews/Resources: 4-Helicopters, 22-Engines, 2-Hand crews, and additional firefighters and overhead for a total of 170 personnel