• Temples and Towers of the Virgin

    Zion

    National Park Utah

Cliff Fire Update

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Date: July 30, 2009
Contact: David Eaker, 435-772-7811

A wildfire that moved into the park on Wednesday, July 29 has forced the closure of the Kolob Canyons District of Zion National Park.  This fire, driven by southwest winds, has the potential to quickly move through the park and threaten the safety of visitors. Because of that, Park Superintendent Jock Whitworth has closed the entire Kolob Canyons District of the park. The closure area includes the five mile Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive (located at Exit 40 on Interstate 15), and all trails leading from it.  These trails include LaVerkin Creek, Middle Fork of Taylor Creek, Timber Creek Overlook and Hop Valley.  The Kolob Canyons Visitor Center remains open as does the Zion Canyon area of the park, near Springdale.  These closures will remain in effect until it is safe to reopen the road and trails.

The Cliff Fire was ignited by lightning on Tuesday night, July 28 during a strong thunderstorm that passed through the area. The fire is estimated at 750 acres (350 acres in the park) and is currently burning on National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands.  The fire started on Black Ridge (BLM lands), 2 miles east of Interstate 15 and 6 miles south of the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center and has been moving in a northeastern direction into the park’s LaVerkin and Timber Creek Drainages.  The fire is burning in pinyon-juniper vegetation in a very inaccessible and rugged area, making suppression efforts difficult.  The fire is being managed by a local Type III Interagency Team under the direction of Taiga Rohrer. There are currently 100 firefighters and five helicopters assigned to fire.  More resources will be brought in as needed.

The fire is very visible from Interstate 15 and for safety concerns, the public is asked not to stop along the highway.  

For more information on the Cliff Fire call 435-772-7811 or visit www.nps.gov/zion/naturescience/current-fire-information.htm

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