Box Canyon fire grows to nearly 1,500 acres | ParkRecord.com

Box Canyon fire grows to nearly 1,500 acres

A firefighting helicopter reloads its water tank at the Smith and Morehouse reservoir to douse the Box Canyon Fire in the Uinta Mountains. The fire had charred nearly 1,500 acres by Tuesday.

The Box Canyon wildfire burning near the Smith and Morehouse Reservoir in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest continued to grow over the weekend and has now charred nearly 1,500 acres.

As of Tuesday morning, approximately 55 firefighters and two helicopters were battling the blaze, located two miles southeast of the Ledgefork Campground near Weber Canyon. Crew members are primarily from the U.S. Forest Service and agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management.

Most of the fire's growth, which occurred on Friday, has been minimal with slight movement to the west, according to Annette Disert, public information officer with the U.S. Forest Service. She said cooler temperatures and increased humidity has slowed the fire's spread.

The flames remain concentrated in steep, rocky terrain with areas of thick vegetation and brush mixed with conifer trees.

"While the rocky terrain poses a challenge for crews, it also prevents the fire from spreading because it acts like a barrier so it can be a good thing," Disert said.

Since the fire started, two helitankers have been consistently dousing the flames with water from the Smith and Morehouse Reservoir.

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"They've been using it primarily because of that steep and rocky terrain and they are not able to insert fire fighters into that area," Disert said. "They've been using it all day long since the fire began and it has proven to be a successful tool."

The fire, which was reported on July 28, forced the evacuations of nearly 20 members of a Boy Scout Troop. The Summit County Sheriff's Office and the Utah Highway Patrol also assisted in escorting recreaters out of the popular area.

Flames have also prompted the closure of several Forest Service roads and trails in the area, including the Ledgefork campground.

"Our primary focus is to keep it out of Ledgefork, which is a challenge with country that steep and that rocky," Disert said. "Our number one objective is to provide public and firefighter safety and we also want to limit the impacts to forest visitors in that recreation area."

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

For more information about the Box Canyon and any additional closures in the area, follow the U.S. Forest Service Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest on Facebook and Twitter. Information can also be found on utahfireinfo.gov.