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Front Page » July 10, 2012 » Emery County News » Seeley fire reaches 60 percent containment
Published 865 days ago

Seeley fire reaches 60 percent containment


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By By PATSY STODDARD
Editor

A fire started over the weekend on Saturday evening with a lightning strike above Emery in the Wildcat area. Three choppers came from the Seeley fire to put this fire out before it had a chance to get going reported Sheriff Greg Funk.

The Seeley fire that started on June 26 continues to burn in some areas. There are 593 people involved in fighting the fire and ground support. There are 19 engines from all over the country in the county helping with the fire as well as helicopters and 13 hand crews with 20 people each. The fire is now as of July 9, 60 percent contained. The fire was started by dry lightning and has now burned 48,397 acres. The fire is still spreading to the north. The estimated date of containment is July 15.

The cost to date is $6,386,699

It is projected a ridge of high pressure will continue across the area through the middle of the week. The combination of surface heating and low level moisture will maintain the chance of thunderstorms on Monday.

These slow moving storms still have the potential to produce isolated flash flooding and debris flows, along with brief gusty winds and lightning.

On July 8 about .25 inches of rain fell over the fire again. Fire activity remains low throughout the fire as a result of the moderated weather over the past several days. Crews continue to patrol and mop-up along the southwest, west, northeast, east and south perimeters of the fire. Crews completed the direct containment line on Candland Ridge and a portion of the lines in the Mud Creek area. The fire remains south of the community of Clear Creek. Heat remains in the top of Vicks Canyon presenting control challenges in combination with the heavy down and dead fuels locations. Due to the steep, rugged terrain in this area, the fire continues to be held in check with the assistance of a heavy helicopter. Rehabilitation of dozer and handlines was started in areas where the fire is contained.

On July 9 crews continued working on direct containment lines in Cox Canyon, Mud Creek, and Magazine Canyon. Crews will also continue with mop-up and patrol around the entire fire perimeter. Crews will continue to look for control options in Vicks Canyon. Rehabilitation of dozer and handlines will also continue.

Road blocks on Miller's Flat Road were removed July 8 allowing the public to now use the Miller's Flat route all of the way through to Joe's Valley into Orangeville.

Travel east into the fire area off of this route continues to be prohibited. Scofield remains open but access is only on SR-96 from SR-6 on the north, to the south edge of town. A road block remains in place at the south end of Scofield to prevent motor traffic from continuing to Clear Creek on SR-96. SR-31 and SR-264 from Fairview are not open and you cannot get to Scofield by using these roads.

Remaining evacuations are Electric Lake and Clear Creek.

Sheriff Funk said, "We plan to open SR-31 at noon on Tuesday. We will put a deputy and trooper up there to patrol. All the trails will be shut down and the camping spots from Crandall Canyon to Electric Lake. We ask that people don't stop along the road to look at the burned areas. There will be a lot of wildlife along the road ways that have been displaced by the fire. There will be flash floods and mud slides. There have been two slides between South Hughes and Engineer Canyon. There was only a quarter inch of rain on Saturday and it caused a lot of issues. Motorists need to be aware. The fire crews have come in and trimmed trees, but there can be falling trees, rolling rocks and debris coming down. There will be no camping in the burned areas. The fire is still burning in the Clear Creek area and in the Left Fork. They are sending hot shot crews into these areas on Monday.

"The fire crews are removing the hoses and sprinkling systems from around the structures because they believe the structures are now safe. The Arizona Incident command team has plans to pull out Friday and turn the fire over to a type II team. There may not be 100 percent containment when they leave, but it will be close."

"We really appreciate and thank the people in the county for their cooperation during this fire and the kindnesses they have shown toward the firefighters," said Sheriff Funk.

A public information meeting was held on July 6 at the Spartan Center.

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