Riggs Fire and Lonely Fire- 9-12-18 Updates

Color Country Interagency Fire
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2018
Media Contacts: Angie Bullets 435-865-3701
Increased Fire Activity and New Growth on Riggs Fire and Lonely Fire
Kane County Utah- The Riggs Fire, burning on lands administered by the Dixie National Forest, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Kanab Field Office BLM, experienced increased fire growth on Wednesday. In addition to the Riggs Fire, fire managers are also in command of the Lonely Fire. This lightning caused fire is located approximately 1.5 miles north of the Riggs Fire.
A reconnaissance flight was conducted by fire managers early in the morning Wednesday September 12. At that time, the Riggs Fire was mapped at 390 acres and the Lonely Fire was 37 acres. This mapping flight was conducted before the afternoon burning period. The new estimated acres for the fires are Riggs Fire 450 acres, Lonely Fire 200 acres.
The Wednesday fire activity increased due to dry hot winds aligned with topography and fuels, pushing the Lonely Fire into a stand of ponderosa pine. Fire activity on Thursday will be similar to that seen on Wednesday.
After determining it was safe to access the western flank of the Riggs Fire, the Pioneer Hotshots worked on the western edge to keep its progression from moving to the west towards Rainbow Point, utilizing helicopters for water drops. Firefighters will work the next several days on setting up sprinklers around the infrastructure in the Rainbow Point vicinity.
Decisions to manage or suppress fires are dependent on numerous factors including risk to firefighting resources, public safety, weather, fire behavior, availability of additional support, risk to valuable resources and private property.
The area that the Riggs Fire and Lonely Fire are burning has not been impacted by fire for many years resulting in an unnatural buildup of forest fuels. These fires will help to reduce these fuels and return the area to a more natural condition and in turn decrease the risks from unwanted fires. The option to allow some naturally ignited wildland fires to provide benefits to the resource instead of suppressing them will give Dixie National Forest and Bryce Canyon National Park fire management personnel another tool to use in their goals to restore and manage future fires.
Currently there are approximately 54 personnel managing the Riggs and Lonely fires. A Type 3 Incident Commander, Dameon Julander, assumed command of the fire on Tuesday afternoon. Additional resources include: 1- twenty person handcrew, 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 safety and welfare of the public.
Available parking at the Rainbow Point parking lot has been reduced to accommodate firefighting equipment.
All visitor facilities, services, and businesses in surrounding communities are not impacted by the fire and remain open.
For more information on fires in Utah visit utahfireinfo.gov

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