Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
857 West South Jordan Parkway
South Jordan, UT 84095
September 18, 2018 8 a.m.
Special Note: Fire Information Meeting, tonight, September 18, 2018 at 6:00 PM at the Salem Hills HS Gym
150 Skyhawk Blvd., Salem, Utah. Fire managers and cooperating agencies from the Bald Mountain and Pole Creek Fires will present current fire information including the status of evacuations.
The Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing the Bald Mountain fire and Great Basin 1 Type 1 IMT is managing the Pole Creek Fire.
Current Situation: Due to the steep, inaccessible terrain and other hazards within the fire area, indirect fireline is being constructed in many places to reduce exposure and risk to firefighters. Crews may conduct firing operations to remove fuels to strengthen containment lines and minimize impacts to values at risk. However, direct containment lines are being used whenever possible to minimize the amount of firing. Aircraft and strategically posted lookouts advise firefighters of changing conditions. All areas of the fire have access to fixed wing and helicopter resources for water and retardant drops to slow the fire near the perimeter. Yesterday, fire managers flew the fire observing that the fuels indicate that the fire will be mostly backing and flanking, weather permitting.
On the north side in Division J, dozer lines are being prepped along the perimeter of the Woodland Hills and Elk Ridge communities up to the Dream Mine and Highway 6. Firing operations along this contingency line would only be used in order to protect these communities from an advancing fire. Structure protection is in place and structure assessments continue.
To the west side of the fire near Dry Mountain, Divisions A and D, firefighters continue to improve dozer and hand line using a masticator. Structure protection is in place and assessments continue in areas of Santaquin nearest to the fire. Near Bald Mountain, the fire is burning in steep, rocky terrain with numerous snags. If today’s fire behavior allows hotshot crews will go direct, building fireline along the perimeter.
On the south end of the fire, Division AA, near Nebo Loop Road crews are spiked out (camping nearer work assignments) to reduce driving hazards. Crews are working towards completion of firing operations as needed, while holding and improving existing lines. Completion of this line will help prevent movement of the fire to the south and will 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.
The night branch continues to monitor the fire and evacuated communities that have been provided structure protection.
Weather: A Red Flag Warning for high winds and low relative humidity is in effect for today from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Ridge top wind gusts to 35 mph are predicted along with low relative humidity of 9-14 percent. High temperatures will be 82-86°. The Haines Index, which measures the stability and dryness of air over a fire, is 5 (6 is the highest). This indicates that there is a medium potential for extreme fire behavior, intensity, and growth.
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.
For a list of definitions of fire terms, see: https://www.nwcg.gov/glossary/a-z
Location: 1 mile from Payson and Oakridge, UT
Start Date: August 24, 2018
Size: 15,635 acres
Percent Contained: 0
Total Personnel: estimated 671 personnel Cause: Lightning
Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team- Todd Pechota, Incident Commander
Information Center: 385-955-0770
Hours of operation: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.