News Release

Chessman Canyon Fire

Chessman Fire Sept 19 - Smoke with forest and orange cliffs.

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News Release Date: October 4, 2019

Update 10/4/19

The fire continues to progress moderately by backing, creeping, and smoldering through the dead and down material on the forest floor.

The fire is now estimated at 420 acres. Smoke from the Chessman Canyon Fire has diminished greatly but may be visible. There are NO road or trail closures within the Monument at this time.

Resources assigned to the fire include two engines, one type 3 helitak crew and three Incident Management Team personnel.

The Chessman Canyon Fire is being allowed to play its natural role as there are no direct threats to national park resources or visitor safety. 

Fire managers continue to assess risk, predict fire behavior and growth, and determine where it can be safely utilized to rejuvenate growth.

For more information regarding the Chessman Canyon Fire, please visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6593/

Update 9/25/19

Over the past few days, the Chessman Canyon Fire has continued to spread across the forest floor and is estimated at 413 acres. The lightning-caused fire started on September 3, 2019 and is being utilized to achieve management objectives. Please do not report this fire.

Yesterday, the fire approached the southwest boundary and a helicopter conducted bucket drops to slow or stop the fire. The fire will continue to spread within a designated area until significant moisture is received.

Fire managers continually assess risk, predict fire behavior and growth, and determine where they will limit the fire’s spread within a predetermined area where it can be safely utilized.

The fire is being utilized to fulfill its natural role within a fire-dependent ecosystem. Resource objectives include reducing hazardous fuels, promoting forest regeneration, improving wildlife habitat, and restoring more open forest understory. These objectives will lead to a healthier and more resilient landscape.

Smoke may be visible for several days, or even weeks, as it is allowed to move across the landscape within the predetermined area. Visitors should be aware of possible impacts to visibility at overlooks within the monument, as well as on roads and trails.

There are NO road or trail closures within the Monument at this time.

Resources assigned to the fire include three engines, one helicopter, and miscellaneous Incident Management Team personnel.

To learn more about wildland fire’s role in your national parks, visit go.nps.gov/WildlandFire. For more information regarding the Chessman Canyon Fire, contact a Public Information Officer at 435-492-4866 or visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6593/

Update 9/20/19
The lightning-caused #ChessmanCanyonFire grew to 266 acres over the last few days. Visit inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6593/ for a printable, pdf version. The fire is located at the bottom of the Cedar Breaks amphitheater and is confined by natural barriers. 

Fire Managers would like to remind everyone that the fire does not pose a threat to the public or structures. Please do not report this fire as it is monitored by firefighters along the monument rim. Fire managers assess risk, predict fire behavior & growth, and determine where they will limit the fire’s spread within a specific area where it can be safely utilized. If the fire leaves the predetermined area, firefighters will take action to slow or stop the fire’s spread.

Fire activity increases in the afternoon, producing visible smoke at all lookouts within the Monument and may also be visible to surrounding communities such as Brian Head, Cedar City, and Panguitch. Visitors traveling to the area are asked to drive carefully and turn headlights on for safety. It is recommended that anyone with sensitivity to smoke limit their time outdoors when smoke is present. For local air quality and related information, please visit www.airnow.gov.

Naturally-ignited wildland fires play an important role in fire-adapted ecosystems by reducing dead wood accumulations to ash and releasing nutrients that stimulate new plant growth, and helping to regulate insect and disease levels. Fire increases habitat diversity and breaks up continuous fuels on the forest floor (branches, fallen trees, etc.) which can help limit or slow the intensity and spread of large wildfires in the future. 

Resources assigned to the Chessman Canyon Fire include two engines, one helicopter & crew, and six Incident Management Team personnel. 

For more information, visit inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6593/ or call 602-730-6144 to speak with a Public Information Officer. To learn more about wildland fire’s role in national parks, visit go.nps.gov/WildlandFire.

Update 9/18/19:
The lightning-caused Chessman Canyon Fire grew to 120 acres on Sunday, September 15th. It remains within recommended wilderness in a difficult to access location surrounded on three sides by rock formations for which the monument is famous. The fire is being monitored from the Monument rim and poses no threats to public or firefighter safety. There are NO road or trail closures within the Monument at this time.

Fire activity is producing smoke that is visible from all lookouts within the Monument and from various points around the Monument’s boundaries. Active fire behavior was reported as smoldering, creeping and backing. 

Update: Sept 14, 2019 – On Saturday, September 14th, the Chessman Canyon Fire in Cedar Breaks National Monument grew significantly to approximately 108 acres. Aided by robust south- westly afternoon winds, fire behavior was active with isolated torching visible from several view points within the Monument.

The fire was discovered on Tuesday September 3rd, 2019 and was lightning-caused. It is in recommended wilderness in a difficult to access location surrounded on three sides by the rock formations for which the monument is famous. The Chessman Canyon Fire will be visible for several days, or even weeks, as the fire is allowed to move across the landscape within a predetermined area. Smoke will be visible from all lookouts within the Monument and from various points to the north and east of the Monument. Motorists should turn on their headlights and slow down for emergency response vehicles. Please do not report this fire. There are NO road or trail closures within the Monument at this time.

Resources assigned to the fire include three engines, one type 3 helitak crew and six Incident Management Team personnel. To date, there have been no injuries to firefighters or public reported at this time. This achieves our first and highest objective of firefighter and public safety. This fire is being monitored by resources on the rim of Cedar Breaks National Monument. Fire managers
assess risk, predict fire behavior & growth, and determine where they will limit the fire’s spread within a specific area where it can be safely utilized. Should the fire reach pre-determined management action points, tactics will be initiated to ensure the fire does not spread any further.

Fire is a natural part of the ecosystem in this area and the Chessman Canyon Fire is being allowed to play its natural role as there are no direct threats to Monument resources or visitor safety. To learn more about wildland fire’s role in your national parks, please visit the National Park Service’s wildland fire webpage at go.nps.gov/WildlandFire. For more information contact the Public Information Office at 602-730-6144 or visit the fire’s dedicated incident web page at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6593/


Update: Sept 13, 2019
The Chessman Canyon Fire in Cedar Breaks National Monument was discovered on Tuesday September 3 rd , 2019. The fire is lightning-caused from a recent thunderstorm that passed through the area. It is in recommended wilderness in a difficult to access location surrounded on three sides by the rock formations for which the monument is famous.

Currently estimated at 20 acres, the fire is exhibiting moderate fire behavior, including backing, creeping and smoldering. Smoke from the Chessman Canyon Fire may be visible for several days, or even weeks, as it is allowed to move across the landscape within a predetermined area. Please do not report this fire. There are NO road or trail closures within the Monument at this time.

The Chessman Canyon Fire will be monitored by fire managers from the rim but will not be suppressed. “Because of its location, the fire is not threatening the public, property or monument resources. We’ll continue to assess the conditions and as things change, we’ll advise park managers” said Chessman Canyon Fire Incident Commander trainee Jason Stewart. Fire managers assess risk, predict fire behavior and growth, and determine where they will limit the fire’s spread within a predetermined area where it can be safely utilized.

Resources assigned to the fire include one engine and six Incident Management Team personnel.

Fire is a natural part of the ecosystem in this area and the Chessman Canyon Fire is being allowed to play its natural role as there are no direct threats to national park resources or visitor safety. To date, there have been no injuries to firefighters or public reported at this time, which achieves our first and highest goal in wildfire management.

To learn more about wildland fire’s role in your national parks, please visit the National Park Service’s wildland fire webpage at go.nps.gov/WildlandFire. For more information regarding the Chessman Canyon Fire, please contact the Chessman Canyon Public Information Office at 602-730-6144 or visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6593/


September 4, 2019
The Chessman Canyon Fire in Cedar Breaks National Monument discovered Tuesday was started by lightning from a recent thunderstorm that passed through the area. The fire is in recommended wilderness in a difficult to access location surrounded on three sides by the rock formations for which the monument is famous.

The fire is estimated at 1/4 acre with moderate fire behavior, including backing, creeping and smoldering. The Chessman Canyon Fire will be monitored by fire managers from the rim but will not be suppressed.  Due to its location, the fire is currently confined by natural barriers inside the monument and not threatening any monument resources at this time. Fire is a natural part of the ecosystem in this area and it is being allowed to play its natural role when there are no direct threats to national park resources or visitor safety. To learn more about wildland fire’s role in national parks visit https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fire/wildland-fire-subject.htm.

The Chessman Canyon Fire may be visible for several days, or even weeks, as it is allowed to grow and/or burn itself out. Please do not report this fire.



Last updated: October 9, 2019

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Mailing Address:

Cedar Breaks National Monument: Administrative Office
2390 West Highway 56
Suite #11

Cedar City, UT 84720

Phone:

(435) 586-9451 x4420

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