September 22, 2020
Area Closures Due to East Fork and Center Creek Trail Fires Restrict Access to Part of the South Slope Yellowstone Big Game Hunting Unit and Fire Restrictions Continue into October on the Ashley National Forest
Duchesne, Utah: With the arrival of fall, the changing colors of the forest is a signal to many hunters to begin checking and purchasing new equipment, packing trailers, tuning up all-terrain vehicles and sighting in rifles or muzzleloaders in preparation for the Fall big game hunts.
With all of this preparation, this year many hunters will find access is limited on the South Slope Yellowstone Unit during the muzzle loader deer hunt and rifle elk hunt in the Rock Creek drainage, Pigeon Water, Petty Mountain and Hells Canyon, and the Yellowstone and Swift Creek drainage.
If your hunting plans include any areas on the South Slope Yellowstone Unit, please check our area closures prior to departing for your hunt to ensure you have access to your planned hunting location. For current information on the roads and area closure on the Ashley National Forest please click the "Closures" tab here on the fire InciWeb page, or visit the Ashley National Forest Facebook page .
The East Fork Fire and Center Creek Fire both started in the wilderness due to lightning. The East Fork fire which started in the wilderness on August 21 is still burning within the boundaries of the High Uintas Wilderness in the Granddaddy Basin, Brown Duck Basin and Petty Mountain and is expected to burn until significant rain or snow arrive. Road closures associated with this fire include the Blind Stream Road above Hanna Utah, The Rock Creek Road which accesses Upper Stillwater Reservoir, and Pigeon Water.
The Center Creek Trail Fire which was identified on August 25th is burning in the Yellowstone drainage approximately three miles from the Swift Creek Trailhead in the Yellowstone drainage.
Fire restrictions are still in place on the Ashley national forest. Fire restrictions were instituted on August 11 due to drought conditions. Currently there are no plans to lift fire restrictions prior to either of these hunts.
Joseph Flores, Ashley National Forest Fire Management Officer stated, “With the current forecast showing continued hot and dry weather well into October, the potential for wildfires is at an unprecedented level, well outside our normal weather pattern. This is driving the need to continue fire restrictions into October until we receive significant moisture.”
No campfires are allowed, but propane or gas stoves or propane fire rings are okay for use. Generally, if the item you want to use has an on and off switch or knob and completely extinguishes when the knob or button is turned or pushed it is OK for you to use. No charcoal should be used.