BLM says remote Swasey Mountain wildfire not a threat to resources

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The Bureau of Land Management is closely monitoring a lightning-caused wildfire that ignited Sept. 7 in the Swasey Mountain Wilderness Study Area.

So far the blaze has burned about 32 acres of remote country, scorching a variety of timber fuel types, including douglas fir, engelman spruce, quaking aspen, and ponderosa pine, BLM officials report.

Few resources have so far been committed to fighting the fire for a variety of reasons, including the difficult terrain and remoteness of the area.

“The BLM is very serious about firefighter safety and wants each of our team members to come home at the end of an assignment,” said West Desert District Assistant Fire Management Officer Gary Bishop. “The terrain makes it very difficult to pursue active suppression efforts while also prioritizing the safety of our firefighters.”

The smoldering fire is located about 35 miles west of Delta.

The BLM says it is monitoring the blaze using both aerial and ground resources with the assistance of Millard County fire personnel.

“The BLM is fortunate to have a great partnership with Millard County and its Sheriff Department, Fire Warden, and other emergency response resources,” said BLM Fillmore Field Manager Mike Gates. “We will continue to work together to monitor the fire, consider suppression opportunities, and make decisions in the best interest of the public and for firefighter safety.”

An electric road sign near the Delta City fire station along Main Street alerts travelers to the fire’s existence and asks citizens not to report the blaze since officials are already aware of it.

Wet weather may end up assisting the BLM’s efforts to contain and extinguish the wildfire.

“Fortunately, the late season and change in weather has been in the BLM’s favor. A series of rain showers and snow has inhibited the perimeter growth, resulting in minimal fire activity that has allowed for natural suppression without risking firefigthter and resources,” a press update about the fire reported.

While the fire is so far zero percent contained, no wilderness study area resources are under threat, officials say.

The recent Meadow Creek Fire was also a late season fire sparked by lightning on Sept. 8. It was 100 percent contained by Sept. 13 but not before it burned more than 4,200 acres. More than 250 personnel were involved in battling that blaze along with helicopters, fire engines, water tenders and dozers at an estimated cost exceeding $4 million.

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