WILDFIRE

Left Fork fire management left to local units

May 16, 2022, 3:45 PM

crews work to contain the left fork fire...

Crews working on the Left Fork Fire. Photo credit: Mervin Garcia/Engine 322 Cedar City Ranger District.

CEDAR CITY, Utah — The United States Forest Service announced Friday that resources used for the Left Fork Fire would be released and made available to higher priority fires. The agency said that fire management would transition back to the local unit.

Some crews stayed behind for a few extra days to patrol for smoke and ensure that the fire line is cooled down enough that it cannot re-ignite. On Monday, May 16, the agency said the fire was 60% contained.

Cause and spread of the Left Fork Fire

The Left Fork Fire began on May 9 and spread to 97 acres in Dixie National Forest, according to the Forest Service. The agency said the fire started due to leftover heat from prescribed fires in April.

Crews worked for days to contain the fire. They faced red-flag conditions and high winds, but wildland fire managers watched the weather to ensure safety.

The agency said crews created a line around the fire’s perimeter in order to secure the fire “within its existing footprint.” Aviation resources dropped retardant and water on hotspots.

During the days that crews worked to secure the fire, the Forest Service asked the public to avoid the area in order to allow crews to access the fire.

By May 12, crews used hoses and water dropped from helicopters to push the perimeter of the fire inward.

Crews had their last operational shifts on Friday, May 13.

The Forest Service said it used seven engines, five hand crews, and two water tenders in the course of containment efforts.

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Left Fork fire management left to local units