Firefighting agencies threw seemingly everything they had at a wildland blaze in Hyde Park Canyon on Friday afternoon and evening — a blaze that might have been human caused.
In addition to about 50 local firefighters with more than a dozen trucks, the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service sent in crews accompanied by a helicopter and two planes to drop water and fire retardant. The larger of the planes — a jumbo-sized DC-10 VLAT — made for an impressive sight over the valley’s east bench as it circled and released large clouds of bright orange slurry.
The fire started around 3 o’clock Friday afternoon and charred an estimated 100 acres by 9 p.m., when Cache County Fire Marshal Jason Winn reported it was about 25% contained.
“At this time we have crews making their way around the perimeter of the fire to try to get it contained for the night,” he said, noting that the fire was centered a mile and a half up the canyon and limited to the north side of the road.
“It kind of crept over on the south side a little bit, but we were able to catch it and put that out,” he said.
Winn offered no information on the cause of the fire, saying it was still under investigation, but emergency radio traffic suggested at least one individual in the area at the time had been interviewed by investigators.
The Hyde Park Canyon fire is the first major wildland fire event this summer in the mountains surrounding Cache Valley. Two weeks ago, a much smaller outbreak was quelled in Blacksmith Fork Canyon after burning only about five acres.
“This was our first significant fire of the season,” Winn said. “We haven’t had much rain, and we’d ask that everyone to please be careful when they’re out recreating and shooting off fireworks on the 24th.”