By Myrna Trauntvein
The Nebo Scenic Loop reopened Saturday after fires
were contained. As a result, campgrounds are opened again
and, as of 6 p.m. Monday, the U.S. Forest Service released
most of its fire fighting squads from duty.
Wet weather this week has helped put out the
There are still burn restrictions in place for the
area, and campers are required to build campfires only in
developed recreational areas, officials say.
"The weather is deceptive," said a Forest Service
The Forest Service also has sent a "Burned Area
Rehabilitation" team to assess the damage caused by the fire
and the team, made up of hydrologists, ecologists and other
scientists, will determine how deep into the ground the fire
The resulting information will determine whether or
not native plants lost to the fire will need to be
reintroduced and what can be done to minimize erosion.
If wet weather continues, the team will also decide if
a containment basin will be needed. Because fire debris and
ash loosens the soil, rain can cause mudslides.
If such a containment basin were to be built, it would
catch debris and prevent any kind of a slide.
The Forest Service estimates the 4,378-acre fire
caused $463,000 in damage.
Last year, the U.S. Forest Service ended up banning
all fires outside established campground fire rings and
prohibited the use of combustible motors and chain saws.
The threat of man-made wildfire is behind the strict