Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
857 West South Jordan Parkway
South Jordan, UT 84095
September 23, 2018 8 a.m.
Special Note: The residents of the cities of Elk Ridge and Woodland Hills returned to their homes yesterday. These cities remain in Pre-evacuation status. The Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing the Bald Mountain Fire and Great Basin Team 1 is managing the Pole Creek Fire. Both teams are cooperating when informing the public and sharing resources. Resource advisors from the local area are working with the IMT to identify suppression repair needs and initiate repair tasks when feasible.
Weather/Fire Behavior: Red Flag Warnings are in effect for Sunday afternoon and evening for strong southwest winds and low relative humidities. Haines index is a 5. A cold front will approach the region this afternoon bringing increased winds of 12-20 mph and gusts over 30 mph. Winds will be southwest, and switch to the west later in the evening as the cold front passes. Temperatures early in the day could reach the upper 70’s. Clouds will increase ahead of this front and temperatures will drop 10-20 degrees. There is a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms.
The fire burned in a mosaic pattern; unburned interior fuels will continue to burn and put up smoke for weeks. Fire managers will continue to patrol from the ground and air. Today, fire activity will primarily be single tree and group torching. Fire behavior will gradually decrease as accumulated fuels are consumed.There is a fuels and fire advisory for the Great Basin through September 28th.
Division J resources on the north side of the fire utilized aircraft and retardant drops along the perimeter of the fire throughout the day yesterday. Structure protection remains in place throughout the neighborhoods. As the fire threat decreases, fire fighters are beginning to remove some of the hose lays that are no longer necessary. Bald Mountain and Pole Creek fire resources are working together planning future operations in Division J and K.
Hotshot crews will continue to monitor and hold the containment line along the north and northwest sides (Division D). Hard work the last few days increased containment to 20%. Chippers will be working up Nebo Loop Road and in Division D today to eliminate the brush that accumulated while building fire line along roads and dozer line. Suppression repair of the dozer lines is beginning. Smoke seen near the Boy Scout Camp was investigated by fire fighters and determined to be interior, not threatening the camp.
Division A has held the fire along the same perimeter for several days now by working hot spots with retardant drops and hand crews on the ground. The rough terrain in the Mount Nebo Wilderness has restricted direct line building. The fire is being held on natural barriers and crews will patrol again today.
On the south end of the fire, Division AA, crews continue to patrol and secure firelines, by mopping up and removing snags along the fire perimeter in conjunction with Division Z on the Pole Creek Fire. Some of the increase in containment occurred in Division AA on Friday and Saturday. Aircraft are available to assist with water and retardant as needed.
Night shift engines will maintain their presence within the neighborhoods surrounding the fire. Fire fighters were available to respond to concerned residents who returned to their homes Saturday. A smoke report phone number (844-681-5436) has been set up for the repopulated residents of Elk Ridge and Woodland Hills. There were no significant issues reported last night.
There is a Temporary Flight Restriction, TFR, over the fire and surrounding area. This includes drones. If drones are in the air we must ground all firefighting aircraft.
Closures and Public Safety: The public is reminded to expect heavy fire traffic in Payson where the Bald Mountain Incident Command Post is located. Pre-evacuations remain in place for several areas in the fire vicinity. Current information about pre-evacuation status 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 Elk Ridge, UT
Start Date: August 24, 2018
Size: 18,596 acres
Percent Contained: 20
Total Personnel: 601 personnel
Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team- Todd Pechota, Incident Commander
Information Center: 385-955-0770
Hours of operation: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.