Bridge Fire Update

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Date: July 19, 2009
Contact: David Eaker (NPS), 435.619.1651
Contact: Andi Falsetto (Forest Service), 435.559.1651
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 3,488 acres with half of the acreage on forest lands and half on park lands. As of this morning, the fire is approcimately 50% contained. The fire is being managed by a local Type III Interagency Incident Management organization.

With the help of afternoon cloud cover and cooler temperatures yesterday, fire crews have made excellent progress in containing the fire. Aerial helicopter drops of foam and water helped to suppress hotspots and keep the fire from spreading. Ground crews established fire lines and mopped up burned areas. Due to their efforts, the fire grew by only 200 acres since yesterday.

Due to fire, smoke and hazardous trees, 15 miles of park road have been closed since July 14th. With changing fire conditions, there may be temporary closures and additional restrictions, and if conditions warrant, a total closure of the road. 

With the reopening of the road to Rainbow Point, visitors are reminded to:

  • Use caution for fire crews, vehicles and equipment on the road
  • Do not stop nor park along the road in burned areas
  • Stop only in designated pullouts
  • Obey speed limits and warning signs
  • Stay on the pavement and paths; do not enter burned areas

The following areas will remain closed to the public:

  • Swamp Canyon Overlook and parking area
  • Long Hollow Picnic Area
  • Whiteman Bench Trailhead pullout
  • Under-the Rim Trail (south of Yellow Creek)
  • Swamp Canyon, Sheep Creek, Whiteman Bench and Agua Canyon Connector Trails and associated backcountry campsites

The Riggs Spring Loop Trail will be open. Backcountry campsite permits are limited to a maximum of one night and are available for the campsites along the Riggs Spring Loop and Yellow Creek.


All visitor services including campgrounds, stores, visitor center and Bryce Canyon Lodge are open. Visitors are encouraged to ride the park’s shuttle as roads and parking areas will be congested. Smoke and haze may be visible in the park.  


Emergency road closures on the Dixie National Forest enacted on Friday, July 10, are 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

Currently there are 275 firefighters, support and overhead assigned to the fire, with numerous wildland engines and three helicopters. If they continue to make progress with containment, fire crews and equipment will gradually be released over the next 2-3 days.


Today’s weather is predicted to be partly cloudy with daytime temperatures in the low 80s and low humidities in the teens.  Fire suppression activities will include aerial helicopter water drops in the most active parts of the fire, securing fire lines and mopping-up areas where fire activity is minimal. 


Suppression efforts are being used in areas of the park and forest to contain the fire where it is not meeting resource objectives. In a few locations, management actions are utilizing natural fire to meet resource objectives. Fire managers have conducted burn out operations on both Park and Forest Service lands to help in the containment efforts. The fire is being managed for resource benefits on both park and forest service lands wherever it is safe and effective to do so. The fire is burning in Ponderosa Pine, Douglas-fir, White Fir, Manzanita and Pinyon-Juniper vegetation and 

has 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.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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Mailing Address:

P.O Box 640201
Bryce, UT 84764


(435) 834-5322

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