High fire danger across Utah as three blazes continue to burn
Published: June 19, 2013 04:25PM
Updated: June 20, 2013 09:53AM

Though most of the state remained under a red flag warning due to high fire danger, firefighters still only had three major blazes to worry about Wednesday morning.

And they continued to make progress on containing those fires burning in parts of rural eastern Utah.• The Rock Creek Fire, sparked by lightning, is burning about 15 miles east of East Carbon City and has scarred about 181 acres of steep, rugged terrain. By Wednesday, the blaze was 25 percent contained.

• The Dark Canyon Fire in Manti-La Sal National Forest had burned 350 acres in the Dark Canyon Wilderness. It was about 60 percent contained Wednesday morning. Crews hoped to have the fire fully contained by Saturday night.

• To the northeast, the Lackey Fan Fire, also in the Manti-La Sal National Forest, continued to burn about 3 miles northwest of La Sal. A lightning strike Thursday ignited that blaze, which had burned about 904 acres. Nearly 305 fire personnel were on scene to prevent the fire from burning toward La Sal and residences in the Browns Hole area.

Firefighters had reached 60 percent containment by Wednesday morning.

Fire restrictions were to go into effect Thursday for all unincorporated lands in Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane and Washington counties. Those restrictions included the use of explosive targets in shooting, fireworks and outdoor smoking.

The U.S. Forest Service announced Wednesday that it is closing the Oak Grove Campground and Browse Road in Dixie National Forest due to extreme fire danger. The closure will remain in effect until the fire danger subsides.

“The Oak Grove Campground is at the top of the drainage with only one road in and out. Even with the statewide fire restrictions in effect, firefighters have extinguished several abandoned campfires in the area below the Oak Grove Campground. The closure is a proactive approach to safeguard the public during extremely dry conditions,” said Bevan Killpack, Pine Valley District Ranger, in a statement.

And park officials in eastern Utah were asking that individuals to use extreme caution when using campfires or other types of outdoor burning.

jstecklein@sltrib.com

Twitter @sltribjanelle