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Contact: David Eaker, 435-772-7811
A wildland fire is currently burning in Zion National Park. The Subway Fire, now estimated at 77 acres, is located on a plateau between Russell Gulch and Wildcat Canyon, approximately 5 miles south of Lava Point, in the northern portion of the park. At this time the fire is not posing any threats to park resources or adjoining private lands or structures.
The fire was started by lightning on August 18 and had shown little activity until yesterday’s gusty winds caused the fire to make a run to the northeast. A sizeable column of smoke could be seen some distance from the park.
The Subway Fire is being managed by the park for multiple objectives including returning fire to its natural role in the ecosystem. Its location gives the park a great opportunity to use the fire to achieve resource benefits, while still providing for the safety of park visitors and surrounding private lands.
Firefighters will begin work today to prepare the Wildcat Canyon Trail and use it as a holding line on the north side of the fire. If weather conditions are favorable, crews may burn out along the trail later this week to establish a blackline as a buffer to the fire if it moves in a northerly direction. The other three flanks of the fire are surrounded by the cliff bands of the plateau and should need only minimal control measures taken.
There are 50+ firefighters, two wildland engines and a helicopter assigned to the fire. They will continue to take control measures, including full suppression, if the fire starts to pose any threats to park or private lands.
For visitor safety, the Wildcat Canyon Trail has been temporarily closed at its junction with the North Gate Peaks Trail, approximately one mile from the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead. The Subway (Left Fork of North Creek), West Rim Trail, and Lava Point area remain open.
For more information on the Subway Fire or other fire management activities in Zion National Park please call 435-772-7811 or visit our website at http://www.nps.gov/zion/naturescience/fire-management-homepage.htm