The Riggs Fire, originally reported at 42 acres, was reported to have grown to 450 acres as of Wednesday, Sept. 12.
With the fire now burning into an area that is accessible to firefighters, additional resources have been called in to help with fire suppression.
Since the ignition last week, an additional fire, named the Lonely Fire, has ignited 1.5 miles north of the Riggs fire. Firefighters estimate that the fire is 2 acres in size. The new fire, started by lightning, is burning in an area overseen by Bryce Canyon National Park, Dixie National Forest as well as the Kanab Field Office for the Bureau of Land Management.
There are currently 54 personnel and different resources assigned to help monitor and fight the Lonely and Riggs fires.
- Dixie National Forest: Grandview Trail (066) from Willis Creek Junction to Lower Podunk is closed.
- Bryce Canyon National Park: Riggs Spring Loop Trail, including connector trail from Riggs Springs to the Grandview Trail are closed. The Under-the-Rim trail from Agua Canyon to Rainbow Point are also temporarily closed for public safety.
Firefighters discovered a fire near the south end of Bryce Canyon National Park on land being managed by the Dixie National Forest on August 25th. The fire was determined to have been ignited by lightning during a thunderstorm in the area.
As of September 5th, the fire measures 42 acres in size, 34.5 acres in the Dixie National Forest and 7.5 acres in Bryce Canyon National Park. The decision was made to let the fire burn, with safety zones and escape routes available for firefighters. Allowing the fire to burn, is helping restore the landscape in the area so that it can function properly.
In response to the decision to let the fire burn, Chet Hatch, the Fire Management Officer for the Powell Ranger District, in which the fire is located, "The Riggs fire strategy will be to minimize the impact to identified values and infrastructure while continually evaluating the risk to responders and the public against the probability of success. The fire will be allowed to burn for ecological benefits and the fire will be carefully managed, which will help restore the landscape to a properly functioning condition and achieve desired Land and Resource Management objectives within acceptable limits and risk factors."
While the fire is being monitored, only one trail has been closed in the area. The trail closure stretches from Grandview Trail in Willis Creek Junction to Lower Podunk located along the Dixie National Forest. The fire poses a low threat to Bryce Canyon National Park and the immediate area. Currently 15 personnel are managing and monitoring the Riggs Fire.
For more information on the fire, please visit the original press release, which can be found on RubysInn.com.