Fires burning across Bryce Canyon, national forest consume over 2,100 acres

The Riggs and Lonely fires have burned over 2,100 acres across Bryce Canyon and the Dixie National Forest as of Sept. 23, according to fire managers, Dixie National Forest, Utah, Sept. 20, 2018 | File photo courtesy of InciWeb, St. George News

ST. GEORGE  Two fires burning in parts of Bryce Canyon National Park and the Dixie National Forest have torched over 2,100 acres combined.

The Riggs and Lonely fires, which have burned 1,259 and 872 acres respectively as of Sunday afternoon,  grew between 50-60 acres over the weekend, primarily in the Upper Bull Valley area. However, an increase in relative humidity is expected to stunt the growth, according to an update from the Color County Interagency Fire group Monday.

General location and size of the Riggs and Lonely fires as of Sept, 23, 2018 | Graphic courtesy of the Color Country Fire Interagency, St. George News

The Riggs Fire started Aug. 25 and the Lonely Fire Sept. 6. Both are believed to be caused by lightning strikes. The fires are located 11 miles southwest of Cannonville.

Firefighters are patrolling and monitoring the fires from the Rainbow Point overlook. A contingency line is also being created along Dixie National Forest Road 242 via fuel reduction.

Due to lessening fire activity and management complexity, oversight of firefighting efforts will be turned over from a Type 3 incident commander to a Type 4 incident commander Tuesday.

Air quality is expected to be in the “good” range for the area, though some smoke may impact areas to the south, such as Kodachrome and Rock Springs Bench, during the evening hours.

A westerly wind is predicted, which will keep most smoke out of the Bryce Canyon City and Tropic areas, according to the Color County Fire Interagency group.

Daily air quality forecasts for the Riggs and Lonely Fires can be found here.

The roadway and parking area at Rainbow Point are open to Bryce Canyon National Park visitors from 8 a.m to 6 p.m. The main roadway will be closed at the Farview Point gate from 6 p/m. To 8 a.m. for public safety.

Visitors are also reminded that the parking at the Rainbow Point Overlook will be limited to 30 minutes.

Trail closures remain in effect for:

Dixie National Forest

  • Grandview Trail (066) from the Willis Creek junction to Lower Podunk.

Bryce Canyon National Park

  • Riggs Spring Loop Trail, including the connector trail from Riggs Springs to the Grandview Trail.
  • Under-the-Rim Trail (Closed from Agua Canyon to Rainbow Point).
  • Bristlecone Loop Trail and Yovimpa Point Overlook

Firefighters resources on hand at the fire include three type 6 engines and one type 3 helicopter and 37 personnel.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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