The Peavine Canyon Fire, burning 45 miles west of Monticello, Utah, grew to 145 acres Sunday from 90 acres Saturday, but is burning with a low intensity that’s benefiting the forest habitat in the Manti-La Sal National Forest.
Heather McLean, spokeswoman with the Manti-La Sal National Forest Moab Monticello District, said until Saturday, the Peavine Canyon Fire had put up little smoke and was not likely responsible for causing hazy skies recently seen in Southwest Colorado.
Megan Stackhouse, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said most of the haze in Southwest Colorado is coming from smoke produced by 12 fires burning in Arizona, the largest of which is the Woodbury Fire, at 123,875 acres in the Tonto National Forest east of Phoenix. The Woodbury Fire is 100% contained, but still putting up smoke according to Inciweb, an interagency website that tracks wildfires in the United States.
“Right now, high pressure is right over Southwest Colorado, which means winds from south-southwest, Arizona, are going to be picked up and brought in. There’s several fires burning in Arizona,” she said.
The Peavine Canyon Fire in the Manti-La Sal National Forest in southeast Utah is burning with a low intensity because of high moisture levels in the Abajo Mountains for this time of year because of the heavy 2018-19 snowpack and wetter-than-normal spring, McLean said.
“Ecologically, it’s doing what fire is suppose to do in forests in our area,” she said.
Indirect tactics are being used to combat the Peavine Canyon Fire, which means firefighters are using natural breaks like rock formations, streams and ponds to slow the fire’s progress, but active building of fire lines is not underway, she said.
Resources available to fight the Peavine Canyon Fire include six fire engines, a Type 3 helicopter and 141 firefighters form two Type I hot shot crews and two Type II Initial Attack crews.
“We have quite a few resources up there, and we feel very good about the things this fire doing,” McLean said.
Peavine Canyon Fire is burning in manzanita oak brush, ponderosa pine and subalpine fir in steep and rocky terrain in areas difficult to fight directly, she said.