For Immediate Release
June 24, 2016, 10 a.m.
Contact: Saddle Fire Information (435) 590-2736 or (435) 680-0354 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dixie National Forest - Saddle Fire Update
PINE VALLEY, Utah – A large plume of smoke and flames in Forsyth Canyon raised concerns among property owners near the Saddle Fire, but firefighters reassured them the suppression plan is still valid and are still confident in their strategies and tactics.
Flames entered the canyon despite aerial firefighting efforts to suppress a spot fire that burned just east of Lloyds Canyon. The Saddle Mountain Fire is primarily burning in the conifer strips along the steep and rocky slopes and ridges above the community of Pine Valley.
Property owners were asked by the Washington County Sheriffs Office to voluntarily evacuate Pine Valley, limiting the number of people in the area threatened by fire. Fire crews identified 500 residences that are threatened.
Those that do not own property in Pine Valley are asked to stay out of the area and the Pine Valley Recreation Area in the Dixie National Forest remains closed to all uses.
Firefighters will use masticators, heavy equipment that grinds up trees and brush, to further improve the fuel break surrounding Pine Valley. Other crews have begun to expand their assessments of surrounding communities, including Central and Veyo, as precautionary measures. The fire, which grew to 954 acres Thursday night, remains in areas that are inaccessible to ground firefighters.
The Saddle Fire began June 13 with lightning on Saddle Mountain in the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness of the Dixie National Forest. The fire started approximately 2.5 miles south west of Pine Valley, Utah. It is burning in heavy, dead and downed timber and brush and is surrounded by very steep, rocky terrain.
A fire information center has been established at the Pine Valley Fire Station. For further information please follow the Dixie National Forest on Facebook, Twitter, and InciWeb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4794/. Residents may also sign up for Everbridge to receive notifications from the Washington County Emergency Alert System by 911register.com. Those experiencing problems with online registration may call (435) 634-5700 for assistance.
FIRE BEHAVIOR: The fire remains most active in the Lloyd and Forsyth canyons, burning mostly in the downed logs and underbrush in the conifer stands. Fire growth will continue to the east along the ridge further into Forsyth Canyon and north along the ridge between the two canyons. Spotting from burning embers through the air and downhill rolling of burning material on the steep slopes will contribute to fire spread. During the night, a mid-slope “thermal belt” forms in stable air that heats up over the night, allowing trees to torch and downed fuels to burn out, which reduces the threat of future fire activity. The brushy fuels on lower slopes remain green enough to slow the fire’s spread downslope.
For more information on fires in Utah visit www.utahfireinfo.gov. Note: Get the latest fire updates on social media.
Twitter @UtahWildfire & @usfsdnf Facebook www.facebook.com/usfsdnf (Use hashtag #SaddleFire)