Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Zion fire continues to burn

July 15, 2009, 7:51 am
The lightning-caused Horse Fire continues to burn in Zion National Park.

The fire was first detected on July 7 and is located approximately 1 ½ miles southeast of Lava Point in the northern part of the park. It is now estimated at 450 acres and is 25 percent contained.

Fire activity yesterday was moderate with the majority of the growth continuing to the south and east into the interior of the park. The northern portion of the fire, which is of most concern to fire managers, is showing little fire activity due to a lack of fuel as it has run into the Three Finger Mesa Prescribed Burn Unit that was treated last fall.

Approximately 20 firefighters are working on the fire.

Smoke from the fire may settle into some of the canyons at night, especially Zion Canyon, but it should dissipate by mid-morning as the down canyons winds decrease.

The fire is being managed for resource benefits under the direction of a local Type III Fire Management organization, overseen by Zion Fire and Resource Management personnel. The objectives are to keep the fire to the east side of the West Rim Trail and to allow the fire to burn into the Three Finger Mesa Prescribed Fire Burn Unit from last year to the north and into the interior of the park to the southeast.

These management options will allow the fire to return to its natural role on the plateau while also reducing the risks to adjacent private lands and structures from future wildfires.

For the safety of park visitors, the West Rim Trail from Lava Point to Potato Hollow is temporarily closed. The West Rim Trail from the Grotto to Potato Hollow remains open, as does the Angels Landing Trail and the Wildcat Canyon Trail.