Officials monitoring 1,370 acre fire near Bryce Canyon National Park

In this July 30, 2018, file photo, firefighters control the Tollgate Canyon fire as it burns near Wanship, Utah | Photo courtesy of Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Little Bear Fire has steadily increased in size this week to around 1,370 acres, and officials expect it to continue to grow.

Warm, dry days are in the forecast this week, and the fire is expected to continue its path through remaining unburned fuels in the area of Badger Creek.

The Little Bear Fire, located in Dixie National Forest between Hatch and Bryce Canyon National park, remains moderately active due to available fuels and persistent hot and dry weather over the past several days, which have contributed to more fuel availability and increased growth as vegetation dries out, according to a press release.

The lightning-caused fire was first discovered in July. Officials expect smoke to be visible from Tropic, Tropic Reservoir, Bryce Canyon and Bryce Canyon City.

Firefighters are working to strengthen and improve roads and other designated control features around the perimeter of the fire. A strategy which allows firefighters to work in the safest locations around the perimeter while meeting other resource objectives.

Fire managers are utilizing the naturally ignited fire within a predefined area to achieve positive restorative benefits to the land. Low intensity wildfire can be advantageous by providing an efficient and safe way to remove dead and decaying plant material under desired conditions that could act as fuel for future forest fires.

The fire currently poses no danger to structures or other local infrastructure. As with all fires in the Dixie National Forest, public and firefighter safety is the highest priority, they said in the press release.

Little Bear Fire updates are available online at inciweb.nwcg.gov.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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