With fire conditions increasing, and a wildfire already burning nearby, all trails in the Kolob Canyon area of Zion National Park have been closed to hikers.
Kolob Canyons is the northern section of the park and is located just off Interstate 15 approximately 15 miles south of Cedar City, Utah. This precautionary closure includes
all the trails in that area and others that lead into it. The decision to close the trails was made to ensure the safety of hikers that may be using or planning to use the trails, a park release said.
Trails that are closed at this time include the LaVerkin Creek Trail, Hop Valley Trail, and the Timber Creek Overlook Trail.
The "Toquerville Falls Fire" is located on Black Ridge near Toquerville Falls, on U.S. Bureau of Land Management lands, north of Toquerville, Utah. The lightning-caused fire is currently estimated at 150 acres and is burning in a north/northeastern direction toward the park, the release added.
The fire is being pushed by gusty winds up to 40 mph. Due to its remote location, the fire is being suppressed using aerial resources at this time, including three helicopters and three Single Engine Air Tankers. Firefighters will need to be taken into the incident by helicopter as there are no roads nearby.
There are no immediate threats to structures or property at this time. The Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive and Visitor Center will be open Friday unless the fire poses a safety risk to visitors.
A 'red flag' warning for high temperatures, low humidity, and gusty winds of up to 30-40 mph has been issued for Friday by the National Weather Service.
Further updates will be made as warranted.