Officials at Utah Fire Info reported the Round Peak Fire is 40% contained after burning nearly 235 acres by Wednesday afternoon.
Minimal fire activity throughout the day helped firefighters slow the growth of the wildfire burning east of Springville. Another perimeter flight helped determine the approximate number of acres being burned.
An earlier infrared flight Wednesday morning showed the Round Peak Fire covered 167 acres, which is more than 100 acres smaller than prior reports, Utah Fire Info stated on social media.
The reason the acreage varies so drastically is due to the type of mapping equipment used by aircraft pilots, said U.S. Forest Service public information officer Kim Osborn.
She explained earlier estimates were completed by helicopters and aircraft using GPS equipment, while infrared technology can determine precisely how much heat is coming from an area.
Osborn stated one of the challenges firefighters are facing Wednesday is how to approach a pocket of fire burning in a rugged and steep dell. Hand crews would need to hike at least a mile with a 2,000-foot elevation gain to reach the fire perimeter.
“We don’t want to put anyone in harm’s way,” Osborn said.
Firefighters are also facing other dangers like rattlesnakes and unstable terrain, including an enormous boulder that rolled a quarter mile down the mountain around 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
The Utah Department of Natural Resources reported a boulder nearly the size of a compact car came loose after the fire burned away oak brush holding the rock in place.
The rock tumbled 50 mph down the mountain, rolled between two houses in Springville and stopped on the front porch of another home. Officials reported no one was injured although property around the porch was damaged.
Osborn confirmed the wildfire started Monday evening by a campfire in a dispersed camping area. The investigation is still ongoing.
The closest structure was barely a half mile away from the fire perimeter, and the Northern Utah Interagency Type 3 Team assumed command of the fire about 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The Wayne Bartholomew Family Park at 1090 E. 2900 South in Springville is closed until further notice so firefighters can use water from the pond for upcoming air attacks. The Springville Police Department asked people to avoid the area.
Other closures include the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in the Springville area and the Squaw Peak/Camel Pass Road between the Rock Canyon Campground and Hobble Creek Road.
Officials also reported the fire is located on the Pleasant Grove Ranger District, not the Spanish Fork Ranger District.
Multiple agencies responded to the fire including Springville Fire Department, Utah County Fire, the Division of Natural Resources, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.
Springville Police asked in its Facebook post that people not try to donate items, because accepting donations creates more work for those responding to the fire.