Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
857 West South Jordan Parkway
South Jordan, UT 84095
Bald Mountain Fire Update
Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team- Todd Pechota, Incident Commander
Information Center: 385-955-0770
Hours of operation: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
September 17, 2018
Special Note: The Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team (IMT), with Todd Pechota as Incident Commander, assumed command of the Bald Mountain Fire yesterday morning at 6 a.m. Great Basin 1 Team continues to manage the Pole Creek Fire.
Current Situation: The Bald Mountain Fire is expected to be active again today, especially where slope and winds align to push fire rapidly upslope. Despite red flag conditions yesterday, great progress was made constructing dozer lines in between the fire’s edge and structures. Additional firefighting resources, including personnel and equipment, continue to arrive and are being assigned to assist in divisions on the Bald Mountain fire. Due to the steep, inaccessible terrain and other hazards within the fire area, indirect fireline will be constructed in many places to reduce exposure and risk to firefighters. As weather and fire conditions allow, crews may conduct firing operations to remove fuels to strengthen containment lines and minimize impacts to values at risk.
On the north end of the fire (Division J), near Loafer Canyon, fireline was constructed with dozers and masticators. Today firefighters will continue to construct dozer and hand lines and improve existing lines in preparation for firing operations should fire conditions make this necessary. Structure assessments will continue.
Yesterday in Divisions A and D on the west and northwest sides of the fire, the southwest winds aided the fire to back slowly downhill to the west. Most of the smoke seen late in the afternoon yesterday was due to vegetation being consumed well interior of the fire’s outer perimeter. Today, firefighters will continue to construct dozer and hand line, working their way north in division D. Structure protection is in place and assessments will continue in areas of Santaquin nearest to the fire. In Division A near Bald Mountain, the fire is burning in steep, rocky terrain with numerous snags and is expected to move slowly downhill. Due to the increased risk and exposure to firefighters, crews will continue to scout locations for containment lines and tie into natural rock barriers.
In Division K, on the south end of the fire, crews worked at improving existing lines and conducted firing operations toward the division K/Z break. Completion of this line will help prevent movement of the fire to the south and will help provide a secure line for the Pole Creek Fire’s south west edge. The eastern flank of the fire is burning into the Pole Creek Fire and is not currently staffed.
Night crews are continuing to patrol and monitor the fire during the overnight hours.
Weather: Another hot day with dry and windy conditions is expected Monday. Winds from the south-southwest at 8-12 mph with ridgetop wind gusts to 25 mph are predicted along with relative humidity of 14-18 percent. A cold front passing through the area beginning late Wednesday will bring cooler temperatures, but little moisture through the end of the week.
Closures and Public Safety: The public is reminded to expect heavy fire traffic in Payson where the Bald Mountain Incident Command Post is located. Evacuations and pre-evacuations remain in place for several areas in the fire vicinity. A list of current evacuations is available at http://www.utahcounty.gov/Dept/Sheriff/Index.asp
Location: 7 miles northeast of Mona, UT
Start Date: August 24, 2018
Size: 14,866 acres
Percent Contained: 0
Total Personnel: estimated 578 personnel, with more arriving