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New evacuations ordered for Pack Creek Fire in southeastern Utah

by Bill Gabbert, Wildfire Today |

The Pack Creek Fire, 13 miles southeast of Moab, Utah, was very active Sunday afternoon, sending up a large convection column topped by pyrocumulus clouds.

The blaze moved to the northeast crossing Geyser Pass Road northwest of Mt. Mellenthin Sunday, which prompted the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office to order new evacuations. The area affected is all private property east of Geyser Pass on LaSal Mountains, from Blue Lake down through the Dark Canyon area.

The fire was mapped at about 5,400 acres Sunday morning, but the growth in the afternoon will modify that number. At least 72 residences and 69 other structures are threatened.

An excessive heat warning forecast for Monday through Friday, 105 to 108 degrees in the valley, will increase the risk of rapid fire spread. The relative humidity will be in the single digits with nighttime recovery below 20 percent.

The fire behavior forecast through Sunday night predicts that the northern flank will remain most active due to exposure to wind and receptive fuels. Torching and spotting is possible and will result in potentially significant spread. The upper elevations of the east flank will continue smoldering and creeping, however the timberline above will check significant growth.