• Bryce Canyon Amphitheater

    Bryce Canyon

    National Park Utah

Bridge Fire

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Date: July 16, 2009
Contact: David Eaker (Park Service), 435.619.1651
Contact: Andi Falsetto (Forest Service), 435.559.3159
Contact: Daniel Ng, 435.834.4400

Bridge Fire Continues to Burn in Bryce Canyon National Park and Dixie National Forest

The Powell Ranger District of the Dixie National Forest and Bryce Canyon National Park are continuing to manage the Bridge Fire burning eight miles south/southwest of Bryce Canyon City. This lightning-caused fire, which started on June 14, is now estimated at 2,600 acres with half of the acreage on forest lands and half on park lands. Due to high winds and low humidity, the fire has experienced considerable growth in the past few days, mainly on park lands. At 8 pm tonight, management of the fire will transition to a local Type III Interagency Incident Command organization.

The main Bryce Canyon Road (Highway 63) is closed to visitor access two miles from the park entrance station to the end of the road at Rainbow Point. The road is expected to remain closed for the next few days and will be reopened only when it is safe to do so. The rest of the park north of the closure and all visitor services including campgrounds, visitor center, viewpoints and Bryce Canyon Lodge remain open. Visitors are encouraged to ride the park’s shuttle as roads and parking areas will likely be more congested due to road closures. Smoke and haze will be visible in the park.

The emergency road closure on the Dixie National Forest enacted on Friday, July 10, is still in effect. The following roads are under this order:

  • Forest Road 30098 (Eastside Road) from the junction with 30098a (Bridge Hollow Road) north to the junction with 31128 (Long Hollow Road).
  • Forest Road 31128 (Ingram Hollow Road) through its entire course.
  • Forest Road 31130 (Long Hollow Road) through its entire course and associated spurs.
  • Forest Road 31134 (Whiteman Bench Road) through its entire course and associated spurs.

There are currently approximately 100+ firefighters assigned to the fire, with three wildland engines and three helicopters available for support if needed. Additional firefighters will be arriving in the next few days.

The fire is being managed for resource benefits on both park and forest service lands wherever it is safe and effective to do so. Suppression efforts are also being used in areas of the park and forest to contain the fire and to also lessen the impacts to resources. Once the burn ceases to meet management objectives, additional actions will be taken when and where needed. Fire managers have conducted burn out operations on both park and forest service lands help in the containment efforts. The fire is burning in ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, white fir, Manzanita and pinyon-juniper vegetation. The fire has also been reducing the fuel buildup and thus lowering the risk of future, large fires in the area.

Smoke from the fire may be visible from the East Fork Road, Highway 12 and Highway 63. Smoke may also be visible from the surrounding communities of Bryce Canyon City, Hatch, Tropic, Cannonville, Henrieville and Panguitch.

As with all fires, firefighter and public safety is the number one priority. No physical, natural or cultural resource is worth a human life and fire managers plan all activities accordingly.

For more information on this and other fires in Utah, including maps, visit the Utah Fire Information website at Utah Fire Info.

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