Hours after the Forest Service announced that fire restrictions currently in place in the National Forests in Utah will be lifted at midnight tonight, a 3-acre brush fire above Tibble Fork Reservoir in American Fork Canyon broke out today, calling for evacuation of at least one campground and bringing the year-to-date tally to a staggering 871 fires, including 510 human-caused fires in one of the worst droughts in decades.
KSL was first to report that a hiker near the mouth of Timpanogos Cave detected the fire, which started close to a road near Silver Lake Flat reservoir. The evacuation order was lifted after two helicopters and six fire engines completely contained the fire, keeping it to only burning three acres of grass and brush. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Earlier today, Sue Stewart, the Forest Service's director of Fire and Aviation in the intermountain region, announced the restriction lift in the National Forests for Uinta-Wasatch-Cache, Ashley, Fishlake, Dixie and Manti-Lasal. The fire restrictions have been in effect on all public lands in the state of Utah since June 14 due to extreme fire danger. In past weeks higher-elevation National Forests have experienced rain and higher relative humidity, reducing the flammability of wildland vegetation, Ms. Stewart said. Fire restrictions on adjacent public and private unincorporated lands are still in effect.