The Dallas Canyon Fire, about 50 miles west of Salt Lake City, was mapped today at 43,610 acres. Ignited by lightning on July 27, the fire’s burning in the Cedar Mountain Wilderness Area southwest of the community of Delle. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the fire area includes sensitive habitat for sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, and wild burros — along with raptor nesting grounds.
Resources on the fire include about 360 firefighters, and Erik Haberstick’s team put the fire at 60 percent containment this morning.
Another wilderness fire, the Rapid Creek Fire in the Bob Marshall, took off yesterday. The Great Falls Tribune reported that the fire is 27 miles west of Augusta.
The fire was reported at about noon on Sunday by two different lookouts. It was estimated at 3,000 acres late yesterday, burning in heavy timber and mountain pine beetle kill, and it grew to over 5,000 acres by this morning.
Dave Cunningham with the Lewis and Clark National Forest said an incident management team and air resources have been ordered; fire behavior has included sustained crown runs. The Rapid Creek Fire yesterday burned over the Continental Divide and into the Triple Divide Fire, then into the Elbow Pass Fire. Sheriff’s deputies and USFS personnel contacted cabin owners and others in the area and warned them that the fire could move toward the Benchmark Corridor.
The 700-acre Elbow Pass Fire in the Scapegoat started on July 12 southwest of Augusta, and the Triple Divide fire west of Augusta is at about 7 acres. The complex is being managed as a suppression fire.
A single engine air tanker (SEAT) veered off the runway while it was attempting to take off at Cedar City, Utah on July 12. There were strong winds at the time due to thunderstorms in the area. The SEAT, Tanker 896, apparently lost control due to the wind and exited the runway, but remained upright.
Our source told us that there were no injuries and that there was minimal obvious damage to the aircraft. However, it was removed from the airport on July 15 by the owner, who replaced it with another SEAT.
A SAFECOM report was filed, but it has not yet appeared on the web site.
Wood Hollow Fire claims one life in Sanpete County
Sanpete County Utah – Sanpete County Sheriff’s deputies and Sanpete County Search & Rescue entered the evacuated areas of the Wood Hollow Fire this morning for assessments and have found the body of one person. The individual has not been identified at this time. We ask for your patience as we work to identify this individual and notify the family as soon as we can.
The Sheriff’s Office offers its deepest sympathy to all who have suffered loss and is working as hard as it can with the other emergency responders.
Tuesday’s assessment was scheduled to assess the fire’s damages and try to determine when property owners could get back into their properties. More details will be released at a later time.
The Wood Hollow Fire, which started Saturday afternoon, continues to burn and has expanded to more than 39,000 acres. At last report the fire had been confirmed at 15 percent containment. Today, the east side of U.S. 89 had its evacuations lifted and residents in Fairview Ranchos were also let in. Sanpete County is leaving the evacuation orders in effect for the west side of Hwy 89. It is unknown if evacuations will be put in place again as the fire is now with approx two miles of the west side of U.S. 89.
The Sheriff’s Office continues to post updates to evacuations and other safety information at http://twitter.com/sanpetesheriff. People may also follow the hashtag #woodhollowfire on Twitter.
A type 2 Incident Management Team, Great Basin #5 with Wilde as Incident Commander, has been dispatched to the fire. At 5 p.m. @UtahFireInfo said the fire had burned 4,000 acres.
3:37 p.m. MT, June 22, 2012
I was just interviewed by KSL, a news radio station in Salt Lake City that wanted some general information about wildfires and fire behavior because a fire unfortunately named “Dump” is causing evacuations about 10 miles south of Salt Lake City. As you can see by the map, the fire is burning just west of Utah Lake on a mountain between the communities of Eagle Mountain and Sarasota Springs. From infrared imagery provided by a satellite, it appears to be approximately 3.0 by 1.6 miles, which works out to about 3,000 acres.
Reports from a nearby weather station indicate that there has been a strong 15 to 20 mph south to southwest wind with gusts up to 33 mph pushing the fire to the north and northeast, accompanied by relative humidity as low as 8 percent.
Approximately 500 homes have been evacuated and so far none have burned, according to Amy Iverson, the KSL news anchor that interviewed me at about 3:10 p.m. today.
Three firefighters from the Farmington (Utah) Fire Department were injured Wednesday night when their 22,000-pound military surplus vehicle rolled 70 feet down an embankment during what the department said was driver training. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, one firefighter was flown to a hospital and remained there Thursday with head injuries. The other two were transported by ground ambulance. One of them was released from the hospital Thursday morning.
The fire department, which is north of Salt Lake City, Utah (map) had just acquired the truck and planned to convert it into a water tender to be used on wildfires. At 9 p.m. the three firefighters were training to drive the truck in conditions they might find on a fire, and were on an unimproved narrow road. The driver failed to negotiate a tight turn and the truck went off the road, rolling three or four times as it tumbled down an embankment, ending up on it’s side. Two of the firefighters were ejected, in spite of wearing seat belts, which were the old lap belt style without shoulder restraints.
Vote on the most significant wildland fire stories of 2010
As we documented earlier this month, the 2010 wildland fire season, when measured by the acres burned in the 49 states outside Alaska, was the slowest since 2004. But in spite of that, there has been significant news about wildland fire. In fact, we posted over 670 articles this year.
Continuing that tradition, below we have listed the top stories of 2010. The line of duty fatalities are not listed unless there was an unusual spin-off story associated with the fatality. Below the list, there is a poll where YOU can let us know which stories you feel are the most significant of 2010.
Top wildfire stories of 2010
Jan. 8: The National Park Service released the report on the August, 2009 Big Meadow escaped prescribed fire in Yosemite National Park. The fire blackened 7,425 acres before being controlled by 1,300 firefighters at a cost over $15 million. It became the eighth largest fire in California in 2009.
Aug. 26: In spite of weather forecasts that would have alarmed most fire managers, the Helena National Forest in Montana ignited the Davis prescribed fire during a near record heat wave. The fire escaped and burned 2,800 acres. The report was released in November. The Forest Supervisor said the report did not point out “something clearly that we did wrong, done incorrectly or that we’re going to make big changes on”.
Sep. 6: The Fourmile Canyon fire burned 6,200 acres and 169 homes a few miles west of Boulder, Colorado. The fire was devastating to local fire districts within the burned perimeter in several ways, including the facts that a firefighter’s burn pile escaped and started the fire, the homes of 12 firefighters burned, and one fire station and an engine inside it burned.
Sep. 21: The Commander of the Utah Army National Guard assumed responsibility and apologized for the Machine Gun fire that burned 4,346 acres and three homes near Herriman, Utah. The fire started during target practice with a machine gun at a National Guard base.
Oct. 13: The US Forest Service’s response to the 2009 Station fire is criticized, and Congress holds hearing in Pasadena, CA about the management of the fire, which burned 160,000 acres near Los Angeles.
Dec. 7: NTSB holds a meeting about the helicopter crash on the Iron Complex fire in northern California in which nine firefighters and crew members died. Much of the blame was attributed to falsified helicopter performance documents supplied by Carson Helicopters when they applied for a contract with the U.S. Forest Service. Carson and the surviving co-pilot dispute that conclusion.
Honorable mention stories (not exactly top stories, but interesting; they are not part of the poll).
May 11:NWCG outlaws the use of some terms, including “appropriate management response” and “wildland fire use”.
Jun. 20: It was not a wildland fire, but every firefighter can relate to some of the problems encountered when a kinked fire hose and improper procedures delayed the rescue of IndyCar driver Simona de Silvestro from her burning race car which crashed at Texas Motor Speedway.
Feel free to leave a comment (or “response”) explaining your choices, or to discuss other news items that did not make the list.