U.S. Forest Service investigators are asking the public for information on the start of the destructive Pack Creek Fire that continues to burn south of Moab. Investigators have confirmed the fire began as the result of an unattended campfire on June 9 and are asking for tips "that may help identify those responsible for the fire’s start." A tip line can be reached at 775-355-5337.
As of the morning of June 14, the Pack Creek Fire is currently covering 8,243 acres on the slopes of the La Sal Mountains south of Moab. The blaze remains just 6% contained and continues to grow, according to fire officials. A press release on referred to the fire as presenting "historic challenges for firefighters attempting to control the fire’s spread."
The quick spread of the wildfire "is the result of drought conditions in the Manti-La Sal Mountains that haven’t been seen for at least 90 years," a statement from Bureau of Land Management Public Information Officer Rachel Wootton reads, citing high temperatures, dry brush resulting from drought and the steep and rocky slopes where the fire burns.
The wildfire continues to burn east of the Geyser Pass Road, where evacuations were ordered Sunday night.
"Firefighters will continue their work along the fire’s western perimeter near Bromley Creek, where fire spread has been more moderate," the statement from fire authorities reads, noting that fire personnel are working to protect structures in the "fire’s anticipated path in upper Pack Creek and north and east into the Oowah and Warner Lake basins."