Four days after a lightning strike ignited a wildfire in the backcountry of Zion National Park, the fire has been contained and park officials have reopened the Kolob Canyons area to visitors.
The "Cliff Fire" burned nearly 750 acres before it was contained on Saturday, though. Of that total, 306 of the acres were within Zion, with the rest on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property. The fire started July 28 when a strong thunderstorm moved through the area. The fire started on Black Ridge (BLM lands), 2 miles east of Interstate 15 and 6 miles south of the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center. Driven by winds, the fire quickly moved in a northeastern direction across the park’s boundary and into the LaVerkin Creek Drainage. Firefighters were aided greatly by rain and cool temperatures on Thursday, July 30.
While the Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive has been reopened, and all hiking trails in the area as well, for now park officials are restricting the area to day use. No overnight camping will be allowed until fire managers are certain there is no longer a threat to backcountry users, the park said.
For more information on the Cliff Fire call 435-772-7811 or visit www.nps.gov/zion/naturescience/current-fire-information.htm