June 17, 2018 Willow Creek fire update

June 17, 2018 – The Willow Creek Fire, located north of Highway 40 and Strawberry reservoir on the Heber-Kamas Ranger District has burned 1,301 acres, and is 49% completed.  The fire was reported on June 6th and investigators have determined it was caused by lightning.  No structures, campgrounds, or powerlines are threatened.

The fire has not grown for the past several days, and it is currently smoldering through remaining dead timber.  Fire crews are focusing on a confine and contain strategy, working along Bjorkman Road and Co-Op Creek Road to remove hazard trees and fast-burning fuels.  Heavy equipment is being utilized along Bjorkman Road.

Firefighters are using a containment strategy rather than full suppression because of the significant ecological benefits of fire, particularly for aspen regeneration and critical sage-grouse habitat.

Because of the Father’s Day weekend, traffic is heavier than usual, so please use extra caution and drive slowly through the area.

There are currently a total of 91 personnel assigned to the fire, including three engines, one 20-person hotshot crew, one 20-person initial attack crew, and one helicopter.

A temporary area closure remains in place due to active fire still in the area.  Extra patrols will be in place over the weekend to enforce this area closure.  Please help keep our firefighters safe by respecting area and road closures.  The closure is north of Highway 40, west of Co-op Creek road (area closure includes Forest Service roads #451 and #393), south of Bjorkman Hollow road and east of Strawberry River road (area closure includes Forest Service roads #389 and #735).  This area will be closed for public and firefighter safety. The Bjorkman Hollow road is closed.   Co-Op road will remain open up to the seasonal closure gate.  Strawberry River road will also remain open.  A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) has been implemented.


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