or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › I Guess Its Now Our Turn for Wildfires!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I Guess Its Now Our Turn for Wildfires!

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Its not anywhere near Salt Lake, but the smoke can come this way due to winds.

Utah Blaze Forces Uinta Evacuation
Monday, July 1, 2002


WASATCH-CACHE NATIONAL FOREST-- Despite state campfire restrictions imposed four days earlier, investigators believe a person caused the East Fork fire that as of late Sunday decimated 5,000 acres in the Wasatch National Forest.
Fire officials remain concerned that the erratic blaze could threaten summer cabins in the Unita Mountains, though constant winds late Sunday were pushing the fire east, away from homes.
Fire engines patrolled the edges of the fire as the 228 firefighters slept in tents Sunday night. Twelve fire crews, seven engines, two air tankers and three helicopters battled the blaze throughout the weekend and the National Forest Service expects more firefighters to join the fight today.
"This is primarily going to be an air show," said Forest Service spokesman Bill Roach. The abundance of dry wood combined with the wind create safety issues for firefighters trying to make fire lines, he said. Authorities have been forced to rely on helicopters and air tankers to cool the blaze, now considered 5 percent contained.
The fire is believed to have started at the East Fork of the Bear Boy Scout Camp on Friday. Investigators said they found half-eaten sandwiches and empty juice boxes left by the multiple scout troops who abandoned the area. The National Forest Service has yet to figure out who started the fire -- whether it was a scout, a camper, or one of the many all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts who frequent the area.
A few Scout Camp structures had burned by Sunday, but most of the camp remains intact.
The fire began heading toward the Christmas Meadows community of about 40 houses Friday night, but strong winds Saturday turned the fire east, raising concerns the blaze could spread to the Manor Lands and Uinta Lands communities, about 3 miles from the blaze. The Forest Service has evacuated more than 100 people from the Christmas Meadows community and has asked those living in some 300 homes in Manor Lands and Unita Lands to voluntarily leave.
Many residents could only wait and watch.
Karran and Jim Danielson live in Lehi, Utah, but drove up to their other home Saturday after hearing about the fire from a neighbor. They spent part of their weekend looking on as truck after truck packed with personal belongings vacated the area. They say they plan to stay at least another day to monitor the blaze, though Jim Danielson, a retired supermarket meat manager, said he may start removing personal items today.
The Forest Service moved Sunday to shut down portions of the forest east of Highway 150, 35 miles south of Evanston, Wyo, as the fire stretched to a length of 4 miles and a width of 1 mile.
"We don't want people in the forest. We can't guarantee their safety," said Rick Schuler, forest recreation manager.
Schuler said the fire did not take his crew by surprise due to the unprecedented dry conditions. "We knew we were going to have a fire, we just didn't know when," he said.
Schuler's co-worker Earl O'Driscoll has worked in the Wasatch National Forest for the past 36 years and has never seen drier conditions.
The most recent fire in the area started by lightning in 1994 near the Boy Scout camp. It burned 1,000 acres. The Lily Lake fire in 1980 burned 3,500 acres and was started by an illegal camp fire. Both of the fires started in the last week of June, O'Driscoll said.
The fire is primarily burning lodgepole pine, aspens and fur trees in the forest, which usually has snow this time of year-- a fact that appalls firefighters. "It is not even July," Roach said. "We expect this type of fire activity in August."
The Forest Service asks the public to be careful this year, especially around the Fourth of July.
"We got all the work we need right now," Roach said.
The East Fork Fire started as other major fires were beginning to come under control.
Only the Rattle Fire, about 20 miles northeast of Green River, Emery County, continued to pose problems. It has burned 40,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained.
The 65,000-acre Sanford Fire, 20 miles northeast of Panguitch, which has cost about $4.1 million to fight, was 98 percent contained , according to a Forest Service report. Reduced winds, higher temperatures and lower relative humidity have helped slow the fire.
The Wildhorse Fire, 54 miles south of Fort Duchesne, has burned 1,555 acres and is 95 percent contained.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.
post #2 of 2
I'm sorry to hear this. I hope they can get it under control somehow.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › I Guess Its Now Our Turn for Wildfires!