June 27, 2012
Aly Baltrus, 435-703-3836
The New Harmony Fire threatens the Kolob Section of Zion National Park. The fire, which started at approximately 1:50 p.m., is located less than three miles north of the park. Route 15 between Kolob exit and Cedar City (MP 42-51) has been closed until further notice. The Kolob Scenic Drive and Visitor Center have been closed. Personnel and visitors are currently being evacuated.
Preliminary assessments of the New Harmony Fire found it to be human caused. Extremely dry conditions and heavy loading of vegetation have created hazardous fire conditions throughout the State of Utah. Statewide there have been 438 total fires; 393 of which were human caused. Zion National Park Superintendent Jock Whitworth is urging park visitors and neighbors alike to "Put safety above all else. The non-native cheatgrass, which has flourished throughout this area, can ignite easily with devastating results. Be careful."
For more information and updates on the Harmony Fire, visit the Utah Fire Information website at http://www.utahfireinfo.gov/.