Strong winds in the Escalante area have prompted officials to issue a red flag warning for a wildfire burning in southern Utah.
The Corn Creek fire has scorched about 2,250-acres of timber and grazing lands about 11 miles west of Escalante. A red flag warning means severe fire weather conditions, including hot, dry climate and strong winds. The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City said winds will be moving at 10-20 miles per hour, with gusts up to 25 miles per hour. Low humidity will create dry fuel conditions, fanning the flames.
"We're watching to see what the weather can do to it," said Barbara Bassler with the firefighting team brought in late Monday to help contain the wildfire.
The Corn Creek fire has led to numerous road closures and is threatening some timber and grazing areas, fish streams and recreational cabins.
"We've got structure groups there to protect those," Bassler said.
Numerous roads in the rural area have been closed, including the Main Canyon Road (Forest Highway 17), between the North Creek Junction to Escalante Summit. Forest Road 144 is also closed at the Allen's Canyon/Corn Creek Junction. Road blocks have been set up to keep people from going into the fire area.
Late Monday, a Type II fire team arrived to begin getting a line around the wildfire in hopes of containing it soon. It includes helicopters, air tankers, engines and hand crews.
"Because there aren't a lot of fires here, we've had crews arrive and we can get the resources we need," Bassler said.The Corn Creek fire is Utah's first wildfire of the season. It was started on Sunday by a car fire.