LOGAN — Fire fighters have determined the cause of a forest fire that has been burning for over two-weeks northeast of the Beaver Mountain Ski Resort that is now 80% contained.
Sierra Hellstrom, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest fire information officer, said Sunday morning that investigators believe an abandoned campfire in the Peterson Hollow area, along the Franklin Basin Road, is what likely started the wildfire that has now burned 1,242 acres. She reminds campers and others that leaving campfires unattended can be very damaging and expensive to extinguish.
Fire managers said thanks in part to a passing storm that brought moisture and humidity to the area, the fire has not grown in size over the last three-days. The rain also brought cooler temperatures. Because of the minimal fire activity, the amount of smoke coming from the fire is the least it has been since it stated.
Hellstrom said the number of firefighters has been reduced to 221. They are continuing find areas of the fire smoldering and creeping, with hot spots flaring up within the interior.
Roads and trails in the area continue to be closed, including Peterson Hollow, Highline, Swan Flat, Beaver Creek and Sink Hollow. Franklin Basin Road remains open but crews are asking that everyone adhere to closures for both the public’s and firefighter’s safety.
The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is also continuing to warn travelers, driving through Logan Canyon, to avoid stopping or parking along US-89. They are advising motorists that Utah Highway Patrol troopers can cite anyone stopping between the Franklin Basin Road turn-off and the canyon summit.
Hellstrom said is a temporary flight restriction remains in place around the perimeter of the fire for a 5 mile radius and under a 13,000 ft. ceiling. This restriction applies to all wildfires and all aircraft, including drones.
Fire managers report they have had six documented temporary flight restriction intrusions since the start of the fire, greatly diminishing the capability for air support of suppression efforts.
They estimate that the fire will be completely extinguished by September 8.
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