Yesterday, at approximately 12:00 p.m., Emery County Sheriff’s Office and the Utah Highway Patrol closed Highway 31 through Huntington Canyon but it remained open up to Bear Creek Canyon. Increased fire activity had created thick smoke and poor visibility on the highway. Additionally, firefighters and equipment were working directly along the highway. Despite this increased fire activity, evacuations were lifted for the Trail Canyon community. Highway 31 will be constantly monitored today and reopened as soon as conditions allow.
Firefighters contained a large portion of the fire perimeter yesterday on the southern portion near Trail Mountain and Whetstone Creek. The overall percentage of containment does not reflect this containment yet due to fire growth of about 3,000 acres yesterday into Little Bear Canyon and up Mill Fork Canyon. The fire also reached the ridge just south of Crandall Canyon. Firefighters thinned vegetation and installed sprinkler systems around the Crandall Canyon Mine Memorial and adjacent areas.
Today’s cloudy weather, cooler temperatures, and higher relative humidity should reduce fire activity but will have little effect on the dead and dry vegetation that has allowed the fire spread. Possible thunderstorms could bring gusty winds that would also help the fire spread. On the western side of the fire, firefighters will continue to build and improve containment lines and possibly conduct some burning along Forest Service Road 0145 on East Mountain. On the eastern side of the fire along Highway 31, fire engines will patrol the road and firefighters will continue building containment lines to keep the fire west of the highway. Crews will resume evaluating terrain, vegetation, and weather conditions for opportunities to contain the fire on its northern portion.
Closures: The Manti-La Sal National Forest has an area closure in effect around the fire. The Manti-La Sal National Forest closed Indian Creek Campground, Forest Trail 0051, and Forest Roads 0034, 2302, 2181, 2180, and 2182. The campgrounds between the Huntington Power Plant and mile post 18.5 of Highway 31 are also closed.
For More Information: Visit InciWeb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5830/ and Utah Fire Info at https://utahfireinfobox.com/. You can also follow Utah Fire Info on Twitter, https://twitter.com/UtahWildfire, and Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/UtahWildfire/.