News Release August 16 Pm
Incident: Millville Wildfire
Cache County, Utah - August 16, 2013
7pm Update Millville Fire
The fire is approximately 2842 acres and is 30% contained. Crews worked along the Blacksmith Fork road clearing brush which reduces the fuel load. This action strengthens the ability to stop any fire activity that approaches the road. It also facilitates backfire operations if they become necessary. On the ridge between Millville canyon and Blacksmith Fork road crews continued building new line, securing existing line, and taking suppression actions on accessible interior fire. Helicopters made repeated water drops all day—working at reducing fire activity with the unburned pockets of vegetation near the ridgeline. Efforts began at constructing a north/south line between the ridge and the Blacksmith Fork road to stop the eastward fire progression. This is a complex task due to the very steep rugged terrain. It will take several days to complete and reinforce sufficiently to effectively impede any advance of the fire, especially if winds develop.
The Red Flag Alert remains in effect through 9pm Friday evening. A fire weather watch has been forecasted for Saturday. Very low humidity, high temperatures, terrain driven winds along with very dry fuels continue to create extreme fire behavior conditions. In the type of terrain within the fire’s perimeter aviation resources are critical to effective suppression progress.
A Northern Utah Type 3 Incident Command Team continues managing the incident. 190 personnel are working on the fire, including 6 hand crews, five engines, and 4 helicopters. Additional Type 1 (Hot Shot) crews and helicopters have been ordered, however they have not been available due to the number of wildfires in the western US.
The mandatory evacuations and road closures are still in effect. Fire managers and agency officials are periodically monitoring conditions to determine possible alternative options, however any change is not likely without a change in fire conditions.
The evacuation area begins at the mouth of Blacksmiths Fork canyon. The area does not include any of the subdivisions at the mouth of the canyon. The highway road block is set up at the intersection of the Hollow road. The evacuation area extends east to the intersection with the Left Hand Fork road (approximately 6 miles). The mandatory evacuation also includes the Left Hand Fork Canyon area beginning at the Left Hand Fork road intersection with Blacksmith Fork road and extends to the Gray Cliff springs area (approximately 7 miles).
The Blacksmiths Fork Canyon road (Hwy 101) remains closed to all nonessential traffic from the intersection with the Hollow road east to the intersection with the Left Hand Fork road. The Left Hand Fork road is also closed to nonessential traffic. Hwy 101 is now open from the intersection with the Ant Flat road to the intersection with the Left Hand Fork road. Access had been restricted between these points since Wednesday evening. Millville Canyon remains closed.
Trails in the Left Hand Fork, Richards Hollow, Herd Hollow, and Gray Cliff springs areas are closed.
The Millville Fire started on Sunday morning, August 11, 2013 by lightning.
Larry Lucas Fred Noack
801 573-6622 801 690-4081