Riggs and Lonely Fires Continue to Grow – Community Meeting is Scheduled for Tonight
(Pictures taken by Superintendent Linda Mazzu- Bryce Canyon National Park)
Kane County Utah- A community meeting has been scheduled for Monday September 17, at 6:00 pm at the Bryce Valley High School Auditorium, 721 West Bryce Way, in Tropic. Fire managers from the Riggs and Lonely fires will provide an update on these fires.
Both the Riggs and Lonely fires increased in size on Sunday. On Saturday the two fires grew together and are still being treated as two fires. The Lonely Fire spread to the east in the Bull Valley drainage and to the north in Black Birch Canyon; while the Riggs Fire spread slightly to the south.
An overnight infrared mapping flight was not able to be completed because mechanical issues with the aircraft. Incident helicopters were also not able to fly in the vicinity of the fires again Sunday. Mopup operations continued in the Rainbow Point area where firefighters continued searching for hotspots along the Bristlecone Loop trail and further in to the recently burned area. As they worked in the area, firefighters also worked to remove any dangerous standing dead trees in an effort to make the area safer to work in, and for the public to visit when reopened. Fire personnel are still working in the Rainbow Point area.
Firefighters worked again in the Willis Creek area Sunday, continuing with structure protection assessments and improving the firebreaks around those structures. On Sunday crews moved sprinklers and water handling equipment from Rainbow Point to the area and began setting up the system.
Bryce Canyon National Park remains open to visitors. Due to firefighting operations occurring in the Rainbow Point area, the main park road in Bryce Canyon National Park is closed at Farview Point overlook, from 6pm to 7am. During the daytime hours, the road will be open an additional 2 miles to Natural Bridge Overlook.
All visitor facilities, services, and businesses in surrounding communities are not impacted by the fire and remain open.
These two fires are burning on lands administered by the Dixie National Forest, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Kanab Field Office BLM.
Currently there are 62 personnel assigned to the Riggs and Lonely fires. Resources include: 1 –twenty person handcrews, 3 –engines, 1 –water tender, 1 –Type 3 helicopter, and 1 –Type 1 helicopter.
There are three trail closures currently in place.
- Within the Dixie National Forest the Grandview Trail (066) from the Willis Creek junction to Lower Podunk.
- In Bryce Canyon National Park the Riggs Spring Loop Trail is closed, including the connector trail from Riggs Springs to the Grandview Trail.
- The Under-the-Rim Trail is also closed from Agua Canyon to Rainbow Point. These trails are temporarily closed for the safety and welfare of the public.
For more information on fires in Utah visit utahfireinfo.gov