About three hours after lightning set off a wildfire south of Hardware Ranch on Wednesday afternoon, fire crews had established a perimeter around the 20-acre blaze.
A fire was initially reported near Hardware Peak Mountain Estates on Ant Flat Road around 1:45 p.m., according to emergency scanner traffic, and further information on the fire quickly came in from three areas: Coldwater Ranch, Sheep Creek Cove and Braeger Ranch.
Upon arrival, firefighters estimated the blaze to be about 5 acres in size and still growing moderately, according to scanner traffic.
Within three hours, crews reported they’d established a perimeter around the blaze, which had grown to about 20 acres, according to Cache County Fire Marshal Jason Winn.
Although the fire appears to have been a natural lightning-start, cabins and other property to the east made suppression a priority. Brush fire crews from Cache and Weber counties, as well as the U.S. Forest Service, worked to contain the fire. Air support, including two helicopters from the Northern Utah Interagency Fire Center and two planes dropping fire retardant, were sent to the area.
The new fire came as crews were already fighting the Curtis Creek fire nearby, about 3 miles east of Hardware Ranch. That fire began around 8 p.m. Tuesday and had not been contained overnight but hadn’t grown more than a half-acre in size. Some personnel went straight from fighting the Curtis Creek fire to the Ant Flat fire, according to scanner traffic.
The cause of the Curtis Creek fire is under investigation.