Black Hawk helicopters dispatched to assist crews fighting Box Canyon Fire

Posted at 12:50 PM, Aug 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-28 14:50:33-04

DRAPER, Utah — The Utah National Guard has been activated to assist in battling a wildfire in Summit County, officials confirmed Sunday.

Utah Guard’s 97th Aviation Troop Command and 2nd Battalion 211th Aviation responded to the Box Canyon  Fire with two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, according to a press release from the Utah National Guard. Two pilots and a crew chief will join firefighters about 12 miles east of Oakley in the Smith and Morehouse Creek area today and Monday.

As of Saturday, the fire had consumed about 3,947 acres. Over the last few days, “unstable weather systems brought heavy winds into the area, increasing the fire’s activity,” according to a press release from U.S. Forest Service.

Pilots of the helicopters will use a 600-gallon Bambi bucket to make repeated drops of water on the flames, according to the Utah National Guard.

Ledgefork campground, Smith and Morehouse boat ramp, and Mud Lake Flats are now closed, as well as Smith and Morehouse trail and Erickson Basin, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Other area campgrounds remain open, though air quality at Smith and Morehouse campground may be affected by smoke.

The fire was human caused and is 20 percent contained.