Firefighters are making good progress containing both the Maple Springs and Old Roughy fires.
There was an increase of approximately 350 acres on the Maple Springs fire on Saturday, most of which was on the southwest corner of the fire in the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness. The Maple Springs fire is now estimated at 7,177 acres and containment stands at 13 percent. The Old Roughy fire, meanwhile, increased by only 1 acre to 658 acres and is 8 percent contained.
Resources continue to trickle in from around the country to aid in the suppression effort. There are now 418 personnel from 21 states, including Alaska, assigned to the fire. The arrival of additional resources gives fire managers the luxury to maneuver firefighters and engines to areas where they are most needed.
Firefighters are securing, mopping up and patrolling along the perimeters of both fires, searching for hot spots burning in stumps, logs and heavy duff. If weather and smoke conditions allow, fire managers will once again use helicopters to make water drops along the south and southwest flanks of the fire in the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness where new growth was detected with an infrared flight Saturday evening. If the opportunity exists, fire managers will also use water-scooping aircraft to drop water in the same area.
Elsewhere, crews will work on completing a burn-out operation along Slickrock Road on the northwest flank of the fire to secure that containment line and keep the fire east of the road.
On the Old Roughy fire, crews are mopping up and patrolling containment lines while also flagging and mapping potential dozer lines that could be used in the future if needed. Fire managers and local officials are still working to open areas that have been evacuated along Ryfield Road.
Weather over the fire today will be similar to Saturday, with cooler temperatures and light winds. There is a slight chance of rain in the forecast but it is not expected to be enough to impact fuels if it does develop.
The biggest concern for fire managers at this point are leaves that are still falling from trees. The leaves are falling on areas that have been burned and contained and there is a possibility they could rekindle if they fall on hot spots, necessitating an extensive and thorough job of mopping up any and all hot spots. If leaves rekindle, they could be blown across containment lines and create spot fires.
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