Forest Service Issues Restrictions

Forest Service Issues Restrictions

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Sam Penrod ReportingAnother exhausting day for firefighters battling the Cascade Springs fire. The forest service has issued restrictions on recreation on the eve of the muzzleloader deer hunt, and just when the fall colors along the Alpine Loop are in their prime.

New estimates this afternoon show the fire has burned at least six thousand acres since Tuesday afternoon and it is still growing, although crews do have it ten percent contained. And this fire will impact weekend recreation plans.

Today the Forest Service issued restrictions for the area surrounding the fire. Fire crews began making headway this morning in their efforts to battle the Cascade Springs fire. Calm winds helped to give firefighters an advantage.

Steve Ritchie, Fire Information Officer: “It depends on the wind. If these winds remain calm we are going to get a handle on this fire quicker than expected. If the winds pick up, it's going to be a more difficult project.”

More than 200 firefighters are building fire lines, six helicopters are dropping water and two air tankers are making passes over areas where the flames are especially intense.

Steve Ritchie, Fire Information Officer: “They are in the areas where the fire has been the most active, that's where they are attacking it the hardest. Our team is up to full strength now.”

Meanwhile, sightseers are causing headaches for the Utah Highway Patrol. With so many people pulling off and on the road in Provo Canyon troopers fear an accident is just waiting to happen.

Sgt. Doug Devenish, Utah Highway Patrol: “There really is no safe place for people to watch the fire on sr-189, the best place for people to see the fire is on TV.”

The Forest Service is also issuing restrictions on hunting and recreation near the fire area. Several roads and trails off the Alpine loop are closed, although the Alpine Loop itself is open. And no boating is allowed on Deer Creek, since helicopters are using the reservoir as a water source.

Steve Ritchie, Fire Information Officer: “There is a partial closure of the forest, which essentially encompasses the burn area.”

We also got our first look today at Cascade Springs itself. The once pristine area of this forest treasured by many is suddenly scarred by fire.

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