Wildland fire crews continued to battle blazes Monday on both the east and west sides of Cache Valley.
The first of the fires, believed to be human caused, erupted in Card Canyon east of Logan late Sunday afternoon. The second fire, caused by a lightening strike, was located on the Box Elder County side of the Wellsville Mountain Wilderness Area.
The Card Canyon fire was reported 15% contained as of 9 a.m. Monday after charring roughly 4 acres of juniper forest. A crew of about 60 firefighters was ultimately sent to work on the blaze, assisted by two helicopters dropping buckets of water and six response vehicles.
First Dam was evacuated Sunday afternoon to make room for the helicopters to fill their buckets, but U.S. Forest Service spokesperson Kathy Jo Pollock said the dam would be reopened to the public Monday once a portable pool or “pumpkin” is set up for the operation.
An online update posted by the Forest Service characterized the blaze as human-caused, and a fire investigator was sent to the scene, but no findings have been reported.
The fire was not far from the Card Canyon summer homes, raising some concern for their safety, but no homes were directly affected, Pollock said. She added that the summer homes in the Chokecherry area were not in range of the fire.
The fire in the Wellsvilles covered only a quarter of an acre and was reported 90% contained on Monday morning. A crew was brought in by helicopter to fight the fire, a procedure that required special permission because it is in a designated wilderness area.
The crew is using Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics, which are officially designated procedures for environmentally sensitive areas. These include building less invasive fire lines and allowing fires to burn to natural barriers.
The fire in the Wellsvilles is being attributed to lightening “hold over” from a storm that came through several days ago. The helicopter used on the fire was dipping water out of a pumpkin set up at Wellsville Elementary School.