KAMAS, Utah (News4Utah) – A section of the Mirror Lake highway that was closed Sunday due to smoke from nearby wildfires has since re-opened.
Utah Highway Patrol had closed the Mirror Lake Highway (Highway 150) from Murdock Basin Turnoff (Mile Marker 22) to Ruth Lake Campground (Mile Marker 38) for public and firefighter safety.
Red flag conditions led to the Murdock fire making a 2.5 mile run to the northeast in the Duchesne River Drainage Saturday, burning 1,525 acres.
It was stopped by the rocky cliff band near Mount Agassiz, located in the High Uinta’s Wilderness. The fire is 1.5 miles east of Highway 150 (Mirror Lake Highway).
The highway opened at 10 a.m. Monday morning, but officials say there may still be smoke in the area. Large helicopters are filling buckets of water from Mirror Lake to drop water.
The fires grew a total of 455 acres, mostly on the Murdock fire. The Mirror Lake Complex is now 11 percent contained.
The Murdock fire is burning mostly within the Murdock Basin Canyon. As it burns, it is consuming standing dead and down lodgepole pines killed by beetles. As moisture arrives through the week, these burning dead trees will produce smoke; however, firefighters do not anticipate the fire’s footprint to get larger. As the fall days get shorter, cooler and more humid, the fire will burn less, eventually going out when it snows. Neither the Slate or Murdock fires are threatening structures or resources as they burn themselves out.
With anticipated rain and the containment work already complete, the fires should not move.