A wildfire that burned 2,000 to 2,500 acres in the Corn Creek drainage area of the Escalante Ranger District was human caused, according to Kenton Call of Dixie National Forest.
Call said the fire was started by a burning vehicle and officers from the Forest Service are investigating.
The fire is 15 percent contained, according to Becki Bronson of the Garfield County Sheriff's Office. She said the Forest Service is using aircraft in addition to ground units to fight the blaze.
The fire, which is 11 miles west of Escalante, Garfield County, was expected to grow fast on all sides because of dry vegetation, high winds and drought-like conditions. But crews are slowing the progress.
The fire threatened seasonal cabins but Bronson said the threat to these structures has been contained. However, it still threatens timber and grazing areas, fishing streams and other wildlife areas.
Forest managers suggest the public avoid the area. The Main Canyon Road, from Forest Highway 17 to Forest Highway 149 to Escalante Summit is closed as well as Forest Road 144 above Allen's Canyon and Stump Springs Junction, and Forest Highway 147. Other roads may be closed as needed for public and firefighter safety.
The Color Country Fire Management Area fire crews are on the scene of the fire as well as local fire departments to fight the blaze. They are managing the fire as a Type 3, but will soon bring in a Type 2 incident management team. Call said the difference is based on the fire itself.
"More resources are available as the fire intensifies," Call said.
A fire crew from Zion National Park is helping fight the fire. According to David Eaker, Zion National Park information officer, five firefighters from the park are there to help.
"In fact, the incident commander is from the park," Eaker said.
The smoke from the fire is polluting the air in Garfield County.
"It's not terribly bad, but it's not pure," Bronson said of the air quality.She said the weather is not changing. "It's hot and fairly dry."
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