Wildfire near Henrys Fork in the Uintas spreads to 80 acres
A wildfire near the Henrys Fork narrows in Summit County has continued to slowly spread more than two weeks after a lightning strike sparked the blaze in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
Brian McCloud, a fire prevention specialist with the U.S. Forest Service, said the fire activity still remains low to moderate, despite recent cloud coverage. He said the Outlook Fire, located nearly two miles north of Henrys Fork on the Evanston Mountain View Ranger District, now covers 79 acres. No structures have been threatened.
“Right now we still have the same objectives,” McCloud said. “We still have engines and various overhead on the fire. The objective is to continue reducing the fuel accumulation of the down and dead vegetation.”
A 7,000-acre planning area has been established to reduce fuel accumulation, according to an update on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest website. However, the forest service has implemented a few road and trail closures: Forest Service road #608 is closed, including OHV trail #903 to the junction of Forest Service roads #112 and #365 on the east. Forest Service road #608 is closed to the junction of Forest Service roads #807 and #153 to the west for approximately 2.5 miles.
The Henrys Fork is extremely popular among hikers and for camping, McCloud said, emphasizing everyone take extra precautions while the fire continues to burn. He said barricades and signs indicate that roads are closed.
“We still just ask that if anyone is recreating in the area recognize those and just use caution because we still have fire equipment and personnel in the area,” McCloud said.
Over the weekend, people flocked to the area, McCloud said. However, there were no issues.
“We had no issues with the public and everyone was very respectful with the fire going on and we didn’t run into anyone interfering with it,” he said, adding that no fireworks issues were reported.
The blaze was first detected on July 12 after a lightning strike in the area ignited dry fuels. It has continued to burn since. McCloud said a management plan will determine how the fire will be handled if it continues to grow. He said Henrys Fork is a “definite concern and we want to keep it out of that.”
“If it hits that point, we will take action. Whether that’s ordering more resources or going up in engines,” McCloud said. “The complexity of the fire depends a lot and is definitely influenced by weather. It has been an unordinary year. It is dry and severely in a lot of places.
“We haven’t had any significant rain so it is still getting hotter and drier,” he said. “If you are out there recreating and camping, we just ask that you be careful with your campfires and put them dead out.”
For more information about the Outlook Fire and any additional closures in the area, follow the U.S. Forest Service Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest on Facebook and Twitter. Current fire restriction are also posted on utahfireinfo.gov.
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