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Utah Travel Headlines

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wildfires Abate But Some Closures Remain; Kaibab Forest Closes Because of Fire Danger

Crews have made considerable progress fighting Utah wildfires and activities are returning to normal in some areas. However, significant closures remain in effect and fire danger remains high statewide.

See this website for the latest wildfire information.

Utah's largest fire, in central Utah near Millford and Beaver, prevents access to some backcountry areas. The fire management team gives this update: "There is currently no eminent threat to public safety and there are no current plans for evacuation of residents. Depending on fire activity in the vicinity of Mandersfield, Utah, it may be necessary to temporarily close Interstate 15 for the safety of public travelers and for the firefighters conducting suppression operations."

Smoke from that fire can be seen throughout central Utah and along the Wasatch Front. People with respiratory problems are advised not to engage in strenuous activity in areas where smoke is heavy.

The Neola fire in NE Utah is mostly contained and operations there are being scaled back. The area closed to the public is being reduced in size and now falls between Uintah Canyon and Mosby Mountain Road, on the edge of the Uinta Mountains.

Much of the Kaibab National Forest near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is being closed to recreational activities because of high fire danger. Forest officials give this summary: "In order to prevent human-caused fires, the Kaibab National Forest will close to public access at 8 am Friday (July 13) unless significant, widespread precipitation is received across the forest. Four developed campgrounds - Kaibab Lake, Cataract Lake, Ten-X and DeMotte - will remain open with fire restrictions in effect."

"Once the closure is in effect, all activities will be prohibited on the Kaibab National Forest, including camping, hiking, biking and motorized vehicle use. While Kaibab Lake, Cataract Lake, Ten-X and DeMotte campgrounds will remain open, fire restrictions will be in effect. No fires, campfires, stove fires or charcoal grills will be allowed in the campgrounds. Pressurized liquid or gas stoves, lanterns and heaters meeting safety specifications will be allowed. Generators will continue to be allowed in the campgrounds, but stand-alone generators will be required to be placed on bare ground or hardened surfaces."


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