Utah wildfire outside Bryce Canyon National Park reaches 93% containment

Officials expect the fire to be fully contained by Sunday.

(Photo courtesy of Tiff Ringwood) The Left Fork Fire, burning just miles outside of Bryce Canyon National Park, reached 93% containment Friday morning.

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Nearly two months after it sparked, the Left Fork Fire burning in Dixie National Forest reached 93% containment Friday morning and is expected to be fully contained by Sunday, according to a report by Utah Interagency Fire.

The blaze, which is located 10 miles southwest of Bryce Canyon National Park, has burned 4,254 acres, threatened 134 structures and prompted a brief evacuation order from the Bryce Woodlands estates, located off Highway 89.

Two firefighters also were injured Thursday. Sierra Hellstrom, a spokesperson with a Panguitch-based Type 3 Incident Management Team, told The Salt Lake Tribune that one individual had likely suffered from heat exhaustion or dehydration, while the other had a knee problem. Both were transported to a hospital and released the same day.

Despite Thursday being “the windiest day since the team arrived,” the crews saw “minimal fire behavior” in the areas that still lacked containment, according to an incident update. The perimeter is holding, and no additional torching has been observed.

Stumps and heavy fuels are the primary heat sources that remain, and crews are moving into the interior to extinguish them. The report also noted that certain areas are now ready for suppression repair, which refers to efforts that aim to “reduce potential erosion, repair damage to infrastructure, and lessen the crews’ impact on the land long term.”

Firefighters’ efforts to contain the blaze have been aided by rainfall and cloud cover in the past week, which allowed crews to reach 50% containment on Wednesday.

The wildfire was human-caused and began after a prescribed burn grew out of control on May 9.