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Wildfire Forces Closure of Kolob Canyons

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Date: July 29, 2009
Contact: David Eaker, 435-772-7811

A fast moving wildfire has forced the closure of the Kolob Canyons area of Zion National Park.   This fire has the potential to quickly move through the park and threaten the safety of visitors.  Because of that, the Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive (located at Exit 40 on Interstate 15), and all trails leading from it are closed to the public at the park visitor center gate.  The visitor center and parking lot remain open.  The closure will remain in effect until it is safe to reopen the road and trails. The Hop Valley Trail, along the Kolob Terrace Road, is also closed due to the fire.  In addition, Park Rangers have evacuated hikers from the LaVerkin Creek Trail to ensure their safety.  

The Cliff Fire was ignited by lightning last night during a strong thunderstorm that passed through the area. The fire is estimated at 200 acres and is currently burning on National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management lands.  The fire started on Black Ridge, 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 Creek Drainage.  It is in a very inaccessible area, making suppression efforts difficult.  There are currently firefighters working on the fire.  They were aided by helicopter water bucket drops and air tankers during the day.  More resources will be made available in the morning.

More information on the fire will be made available in the morning.

Did You Know?

Zion Mount Carmel Tunnel in 1930, Zion Museum Collection, ZION 12366-59

When dedicated on July 4, 1930, the 1.1 mile Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel was the longest tunnel in the United States. More...