Firefighters Gain the Upper Hand Two Weeks After Start of Upper Provo Fire
More than two weeks after the blaze started, firefighters have the upper hand on the Upper Provo Fire in far eastern Summit County as of Monday morning.
The fire, suspected to have been human-caused, started Friday, July 31,, and is now 84% contained. While the number of acres burned hasn’t increased in a week, two Forest Service roads have remained closed throughout. 480 acres of conifer and lodgepole pine have burned.
One hundred and fifty total personnel remain on the scene, along with two helicopters and three fire engines. On Tuesday morning, the Federal Incident Management Team will transition management of the fire to a Type 4 team.
Meanwhile, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has temporarily closed all 17 of its wildlife management areas in central and northern Utah to recreational target shooting due to wildfire concerns.
DWR reports that 28 wildfires have been caused this summer by target shooting, costing taxpayers nearly $1 million. According to the DWR, a bullet ricochet is also likely responsible for starting the 438-acre Big Hollow fire that burned near Heber City last month. That fire started at the Wallsburg Wildlife Management Area.
Scott Walker, the DWR Northern Regional Habitat Manager says with firearm target shooting, sparks from metal targets aren’t the only threat - a bullet or other projectile glancing off a rock is all it takes to cause a spark and a fire.