A lightning-caused wildfire west of Devil’s Canyon has burned approximately 86 acres of Forest Service land since the lightning strike on August 4. While the fire is being monitored by a five-person squad, there has not been a significant effort to put out the flames.
Smoke from the fire has drifted onto Highway 191 several times, but has not been a public safety issue. As of the press deadline on August 14, fire was burning on nearly 80 percent of the fire perimeter.
The wildland firefighting crew who monitors the fire keeps it from burning too intensely. Fire fighters also work to keep the natural fire in the ecosystems and resource areas that would benefit the most from wildfire.
The fire is in ponderosa pine and oak brush.
Officials state that the “long term fire use objectives” are to aid natural habitat restoration through fire regime maintenance, allow the reintroduction and regeneration of native vegetation and habitat while recycling soil nutrients, reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire through the use of moderate intensity natural fire, for Wildlife and Range management to provide for increased spring forage by allowing consumption of understory litter with natural fire, keep suppression costs commensurate with resource values through the use of appropriate response actions and limit the damage to municipal watersheds from wildland fire and fire management activities.
Wildfire-Use Fires are used throughout the forests to maintain optimal forest health. Since the suppression activities started in the 1940’s, forest managers have learned that fire does have a role in the wildland ecosystem. Sections of forests have been identified to allow natural wildfire back into those ecosystems.
For Utah wildfire information, please go to www.utahfireinfo.gov.