SPANISH FORK (News4Utah) – Firefighters working on the Pole Creek Fire expect cooperation from Mother Nature this week.
Fire officials issued a Red Flag Warning Sunday morning, which requires three weather elements – low humidity, high temperatures, and strong winds.
Earlier in the day, Pole Creek Fire public information officer Michael Davis said, “The problem is it’s probably also going to bring lightning, which could start additional fires. In addition to that, we could have erratic winds as the storm moves across. If we get extreme outflow winds, it can push the fire in all directions at the same time.”
However, Mother Nature brought a pleasure surprise for fire crews Sunday evening.
“More clouds came in than the meteorologists anticipated and really kept the humidity raised, so we really didn’t see those red flag conditions,” said Steward Turner, fire behavior analyst for the Pole Creek Fire.
Turner started as a firefighter nearly three decades ago before tracking wildfires to see how fast it’s going to move and how big it may get. Then, he works with firefighters to come up with a plan of action for the day.
“I use three things to do that. I look at the topography – the lay of the land, the hills, the mountains. Then the fuels, the trees, the grass, the twigs, the pine needles…and of course, the weather,” said Turner.
Turner said he anticipates firefighters will make significant progress on the Pole Creek Fire over the next three to four days because of cooperative weather conditions.
“We’re going to see a lot less fire behavior, a lot less smoke in the air Monday because the weather’s much more favorable for the conditions we need to work against the fire,” said Turner.
Davis said he’s confident firefighters will able to keep the fire under control.
“Our objective is to keep it in the area that it’s in. We’ve got some good containment lines. Most of those have been tested previously with winds and so we’re pretty confident we can hold it where it’s at,” said Davis.
As hunting season is in progress, fire officials are asking hunters to make sure hunting areas are open before entering and be mindful of fire personnel in the area.
Although Highway 6 and Highway 89 are open, drivers are asked to drive carefully at the suggested speed of 45 miles per hour and not stop to look at the fire.
For more information on the Pole Creek Fire, click here.