Three wildfires smoldering in Utah’s Dinosaur National Monument
By Harry Stevens
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Jul 25 2014 08:39PM
Three wildfires were burning in remote areas of Dinosaur National Monument, which remained open to visitors as of Friday evening.
The largest is the Hog Fire, which by Friday night had spread to 40 acres on the Yampa Plateau. Three engines, two hand crews, two heavy tankers and an air tanker began tackling the flames at 5 p.m., though the fire was zero percent contained Friday evening, said National Park Service spokesman Dan Johnson.
The 15-acre Island Park Fire, located in the monument’s Rainbow Park area, was also uncontained as of Friday night. Fire crews from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management were fighting the fire with the help of smoke jumpers and hand crews, Johnson said.
The third fire, known as the Quarry Fire, was confined to a single tree as of Friday night, and firefighters were rushing to put it out before it spread, Johnson said.
All three fires were likely sparked by overnight lightning strikes, Johnson said, adding that they were in remote locations and threatened neither buildings nor people.
"People may encounter some smoke," Johnson said, "but other than that there’s nothing to deter people from coming to the monument."
The park service advised visitors to avoid the Split Mountain and Rainbow Park areas of the monument, both for their safety and to avoid interfering with fire operations.