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The Sanpete Messenger

Controlled Porcupine Fire creates road closures

The Porcupine fire, a controlled burn seven miles from Mayfield that was ignited by a lightning strike, has increased in overall size to over 2,000 acres, and more roads and trails have been closed due to risk posed by the fire.
The Porcupine fire, a controlled burn seven miles from Mayfield that was ignited by a lightning strike, has increased in overall size to over 2,000 acres, and more roads and trails have been closed due to risk posed by the fire. – Photo courtesy Manti La Sal National forest

 

Controlled Porcupine Fire creates road closures

 

Robert Stevens

Managing editor

9-8-2016

 

MAYFIELD CANYON—The Porcupine fire, although being used by the Forest Service to help burn out severe overgrowth and restore a more natural habitat, has increased nearly tenfold in size since the Messenger originally reported it, and the roads and trail closures caused by the fire have increased in number and projected duration.

Originating on July 23 from a lightning strike, the heart of the fire is seven miles southeast of Mayfield Town and was only a few hundred square acres for a while, with minimal road and trail closures but since the Forest Service has taken a controlled burn strategy to restore the natural habitat, the fire has been allowed to grow to over 2,000 acres.

A statement released by the Forest Service says, “Due to the recent cooler weather and precipitation over the lightning-caused Porcupine Fire, fire behavior and activity has decreased. However, this does not mean the fire is out.  This fire is currently smoldering and creeping in heavy dead and downed fuels.  It is expected that snowfall will completely extinguish this fire.  Until that time, crews will continue to manage this fire for resource benefits. As the weather warms, smoke will again be visible to the surrounding communities.”

The statement also says that the fire is now 20 percent contained and no structures are under any current danger.