Fly Canyon Fire Continues to Grow

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Emery County Sheriff’s Office Press Release

UPDATE FLY CANYON FIRE, Monday, September 12, 2016: The fire has grown to 1850 acres, burning in heavy dead and downed fuels. Windy conditions on Sunday led to fire growth.

CURRENT CLOSURES: Potter’s Pond Campground, Miller’s Flat Road from Sheep Valley to the junction with Lowry Water Road, Lowry Water Road, Potter’s Canyon Road and Indian Creek Campground. 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 firefighters can focus on the fire.

The Central Utah Interagency Fire Team took over management of the fire Monday morning with three helicopters, four engines and additional firefighters. The fire is 0% contained.

Fire Summary: The size is estimated to be approximately 1,850. 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 downslope towards the east and towards Lowry Water and north 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 that is the vicinity of the fire and a gas line to the north east of the fire that have been turned off. Point protection for the Potters Ponds campground, power line, and 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 by ground 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. For decades, the Forest Service and other land management agencies suppressed most fires. Unfortunately, this resulted in decades of dead and downed brush and tree litter. This fuel acts as ladder fuels that can create even more devastating wildfires. Science has changed the way we respond to fires. When we have the right fire, in the right place, at the right time, we can allow fire to play its natural role in the ecosystem. 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. 

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. A gas line was vented northeast of the fire yesterday. 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

Fire Crews/Resources:  Central Utah Interagency Fire Team took over management of the fire this morning. Three helicopters, four engines and additional firefighters and overhead

For more information on fires in Utah, visit www.utahfireinfo.gov. For more information on fires across the country, visit  www.inciweb.org

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