Wire Pass Fire at 70% containment, trails to reopen Wednesday

Fire fighters ventured into the black on Monday to check on a wildlife guzzler that partially burned over on the Wire Pass Fire. Damage was minimal and they are making plans to repair, Kane County, Utah, June 29, 2020 | Photo by David Hercher, Wire Pass Fire Information Officer, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — After several days of closures, trails and roads near the Wire Pass trailhead will reopen Wednesday as firefighters succeed in 70% containment of the Wire Pass Fire.

The hike to The Wave in Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness area, Ariz., date not specified | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

At around 11 p.m. on Friday, lightning ignited the Wire Pass Fire and led to forced evacuations of campgrounds and trails near the Wire Pass trailhead. House Rock Valley Road, Wire Pass trailhead, Buckskin Gulch trailhead and Coyotes Buttes North (The Wave) were all closed due to the fire.

David Hercher, BLM Utah’s Paria River District Public Affairs Specialist, told St. George News that there hasn’t been much damage around the trail and that the burn has been a clean black with no significant burning around the trails.

Firefighters saw minimal change in fire activity on Monday with some interior pockets still smoldering. No movement or growth occurred. It is now 70% contained with a Type 3 Incident Command.

“Despite two days of high wind events, fire behavior on the Wire Pass Fire yesterday was very minimal and did not grow in size. Currently, we are estimating 70% containment,” he said. “Today’s plan is to disperse crews throughout the area to monitor for and catch hotspots.”

In this May 28, 2013, file photo, a hiker walks on a rock formation known as The Wave in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona. | AP file Photo/Brian Witte, St. George News

They are also planning to transition to a Type 4 Incident Command on Thursday, he said.

The fire has burned through roughly 1,580 acres of grass and pinyon-juniper on federal land. The structures threatened included trails, trailheads and powerlines.

House Rock Valley Road, Wire Pass Trailhead, Buckskin Gulch Trailhead and Coyote Buttes North will reopen on Wednesday at 8 a.m., but motorists should use extreme caution when traveling on the Utah-side of House Rock Valley Road as firefighter traffic will still be in the vicinity.

The Wave walk-in lottery reopened Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. at the Kanab Center for permit holders to hike the Wave on Wednesday morning.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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