Crews get Monviso Fire in Summit County under control
Suppression efforts on the Monviso Fire near the Mirror Lake Highway in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest are slowly starting to wind down and fire personnel have been gradually removed from the area, officials said.
Only one engine and a hotshot crew remains on site in the Monviso area monitoring the human-caused wildfire, which was first reported on June 21. Two hotshot crews and two helicopters were released on Monday, along with two fire engines.
The fire was located about 30 miles south of Evanston, Wyoming, on the west side of the Mirror Lake Highway on national forest land. It burned about 65 acres.
The fire was considered about 75 percent contained as of Tuesday, according to Leann Fox, communication and prevention coordinator for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.
“The crews have been working hard and the fire is almost out,” Fox said. “They have a line all the way around the area and just crisscrossing back and forth to make sure there are no more hotspots and it is cold.”
The fire forced the mandatory evacuation of cabins in the Monviso area, but the order was lifted on Sunday, Fox said. She said it is mostly private property in the immediate vicinity and homeowners have been warned to be cautious if returning to the area.
Fire officials determined an abandoned campfire caused the blaze. Fox said an out-of-state property owner camping with his family thought he had put the campfire out completely when he extinguished it with water.
“But, another homeowner saw the smoke and called it in,” she said. “The guy came back and said he thought it was cold to the touch. Normally, we prosecute people in those situations, but I actually feel bad for the guy because he did the best he could. He wasn’t necessarily negligent in this case.”
No decision has been made whether the man will face any fines or criminal charges.
Fox encouraged those in the area to continue being diligent when putting out campfires or any other fires. She said it is green in the forest, but also cautioned that dead timber and cotton on the forest floor can be deadly in spreading fires.
“People just need to be cautious when you have any kind of fire,” she said.
Management of the remaining fire is expected to be turned back over to the state on Wednesday.
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