Fire in Cache County largely under control

Posted at 4:22 PM, Sep 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-17 19:58:47-04

CACHE COUNTY, Utah -- Fire officials said a wildfire in Cache County was largely under control Tuesday night.

Jason Qinn, deputy chief fire marshall of the Cache Valley Fire District, said they were called to the North Cottonwood Fire at 2:30 in the afternoon.

Fueled by dry brush and 30 mile-per-hour winds, Winn said the canyon fire quickly grew to 20 acres.

"It was quick. Due to the fact it was windy, it was quick," Winn said.

But thanks to a quick response by more than 100 firefighters, and a brief thunderstorm, the fire stalled at 80 acres.

Crews from the United States Forest Service, Cache County, and several surrounding agencies battled the blaze, including the Bonneville and Logan hot shots.

"We were fortunate," Winn said. "We got on the scene quickly, Forest Service got on scene quickly, and we were able to get around the fire."

A forest service spokesperson said the North Cottonwood Fire burned on public and private land.

The flames threatened recreational properties, but Winn said no structures were damaged and no one was hurt.

Most of the fire burned on steep, rugged mountainside, devouring small trees and brush.

Winn said they don't know how the fire started, but he said several people reported seeing lightning in the area.

Fire officials had good reason to be concerned. In early August, the Millville Fire torched nearly 3,000 acres in and around Blacksmith Fork Canyon, forcing the evacuation of 150 people.

Laura Schenk and her family drove up the canyon after the fire died down to check on their cabin.

"It's scary," Schenk said. "We were just here a week ago and it was all fine, but now it's all burned... I'm just so grateful that people most of them volunteers came here to fight the fire and risked their lives to save our property."

Winn said they hoped to have fire completely contained by late Tuesday night.

"It definitely could have gone up and gone over (the mountain), and it could have been worse," Winn said. "But we were lucky today and thanks to the good firefighters we have in the valley we were able to stop it."