September 2, 2018 - Lightning from a series of passing thunderstorms on August 21st ignited a wildland fire on a remote mesa top in Zion National Park. The Church Mesa Fire, named for the formation upon which it is burning, is located on an inaccessible mesa in Zion Wilderness. As of the evening of September 1st, the fire had burned an estimated 17 acres of the mesa top and is smoldering and creeping in leaf litter and needle cast with occasional torching of overstory trees. Its spread potential is limited by the slickrock and sheer cliff landscape encircling the formation. Fuels on the mesa include Gambel Oak and Bigtooth Maple with pockets of Ponderosa Pine. The fire poses no threat to visitors or identified cultural resources. Smoke from this fire may be visible from various points in and around the park.
As wildland fire is a natural part of the Zion Wilderness and the fire is in an inaccessible location, this fire is being managed with a “confine/contain” strategy. Under this strategy, potential fire spread boundaries are determined by existing natural barriers, notably the rock cliff faces surrounding the mesa top. Should these natural barriers not “confine” the fire, action will be taken to “contain” the fire within these designated boundaries. This strategy limits unnecessary risk to firefighters and allows fire to play its natural role in the Zion Wilderness.
Zion Fire Management staff are actively monitoring the fire’s progression and have identified management action points where alternative tactics, including suppression, may occur if the fire moves beyond designated boundaries.
There are currently no prescribed fires in Zion National Park
There are currently no fire restrictions in Zion National Park
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