Brian Head Fire slows, but continues to spread to the northeast

The fire has burned over 58,000 acres.

Map Brian Head Fire Utah

Above: Map of the Brian Head Fire in southwest Utah. The red line was the perimeter at 2:30 a.m. MDT June 29, 2017. The white line was the perimeter 24 hours earlier.

(Originally published at 12:52 p.m. MDT June 27, 2017)

The spread of the Brian Head Fire in southwest Utah slowed on Wednesday, thanks to weather less conducive to extreme wildfire behavior, but it still continued to grow on the northeast side. In that area there are large expanses with much lighter vegetation (or fuels), possibly due to past fires, but a couple of spot fires east of those locations are in heavier fuels and have expanded during the last two to three days progressing to within six miles of Panguitch.

On Wednesday the fire consumed another 4,117 acres, bringing the total to 58,318 acres.

On Thursday firefighters will be assessing structure protection needs in Walker and Potato Patch as well as continuing efforts in Breezy Pines. Tactical options are being developed on the north side of the fire.

An illegally operated drone flew into the fire area Wednesday, forcing all firefighting aircraft to be grounded for safety reasons. Law enforcement responded and is investigating the incident. Hobbyist drone operators are reminded that “if you fly, we can’t fly.” There is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the fire area and it is against federal law to fly a drone within the restricted area. This also happened on the Goodwin Fire in Arizona Wednesday, as well as the Lightner Fire in Colorado.

Resources assigned to the fire include 48 hand crews, 82 engines, 14 helicopters, a variable number of air tankers, and 1,729 personnel. The suppression costs to date have totaled $14.9 million.

Evacuations are still in place for several communities.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

3 thoughts on “Brian Head Fire slows, but continues to spread to the northeast”

  1. Once again, anyone flying a drone illegally in an area with a TFR due to wildfire activity should be held financially liable for all damages (including increased suppression costs) resulting from the spread of the fire while air operations are suspended.

    1. As a life long visitor to the Cedar Breaks and Panguitch Lake area, as well as a Native Southeren Californian that has experienced first hand the devastation of wild fires do to uncontrolled growth, drought, wind, and high temperatures, and above all, human carelessness, I am in full agreement with the writer of this statement. Is it not only harrowing enough that men and women risk their lives in an attempt to save other’s lives foremost, and propetry to boot? Its infuriating to know that someone essentially would put other people’s livelihoods and existence at risk so they can record just a meager moment of an event of such magnitude and destruction, and for what?…to post it on Facebook or upload it to Youtube for likes and hits!? I only hope that these clowns do post and upload what they so thought was “Fair and Balanced” video footage of this catastrophic incident so that they can in turn be traced, hunted down, found, and have charges brought against them. I speak only a portion out of anger but mostly out of shame and sorrow that an individual or individuals who may hold that part of our heritage and history, as I too have family DNA burried in those grounds, in such a high and sacred regard, would perpatrate such a careless but yet extentially dangerous act and undermine the efforts of so many “humans” trying to save and preserve what I believe to be, hands down, THE most perfect combination of man and creation, the closest I’ve been to Heaven in this broken, scorched, careless world. Not everyone from Southern California is a “bird and bunny lover”, or a “tree hugger”, or my personal favorite…”rock licker”.

      1. I just saw an “adventure” video posted on you tube of a man and his two sons exploring (sneaking in to) the Brian’s Head fire area. What a fool. Not only is he endangering his young sons and himself, he is making more work for those exhausted and hardworking men and women who have to take the time to chase him out of the area. Infuriating. I would like to see him tracked down and fined. He even goes so far as to put on a yellow vest to “fit in” and lets his sons out on a hill to help/dump water on a hot spot surrounded by standing, burnt trees.


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