U.S. Forest Service officials said Monday the Bridal Veil Falls fire has officially grown to 240 acres.
The fire, which was 20 percent contained Monday afternoon, is believed to have been human caused. Started sometime late Thursday night, the fire destroyed the deserted restaurant near the top of the mountain near the falls and then spread to surrounding vegetation.
"It's quite a bit bigger than we thought," said Kim Osborn, spokeswoman for the Forest Service. "Sometimes it's just hard to tell ... there's a lot of cliffs up there."
She said they got a helicopter out Monday and, using GPS, got a more accurate figure on the total acreage of the fire.
The fire is burning brush on steep, rocky terrain up above the falls. Sunday night, two 20-man firefighting teams spent the night on the mountain the Bonneville Hot Shots team and a Salt Lake County team. Additionally, the Forest Service has two helicopters working on the fire a large sky crane chopper with a snorkel and a smaller helicopter that shuttled teams to the top of the mountain.
Osborn said the sky crane was drawing a lot of attention from motorists along Highway 189 through Provo Canyon, creating some traffic problems. Crews are enforcing a no-stopping zone along the highway near the fire. Also, a restriction is in place for a section of the Provo River and trail from Nunn's Park to Vivian Park so the helicopters can dip water out of the river. The parks' recreation sites, however, remain open.
"We don't want anglers in there, we don't want people tubing through there just because it would be really dangerous with the helicopter right there," Osborn said.Even though two hours of steady rain dumped a half-inch water on the area, it wasn't enough to extinguish the fire, Osborn said. While she didn't have an exact time frame for containment, Osborn said they hope to have the fire contained by Wednesday evening.
E-mail: [email protected]