Box Canyon Fire was caused by campfire |

Box Canyon Fire was caused by campfire

Helicopters equipped with water tanks and hoses are being used to help contain the Box Canyon Fire in the Uinta Mountains east of Oakley.
Courtesy of USFS

The 2,600-acre fire, burning near the popular Ledgefork Campground in the Uintas, was caused by a campfire.

According to U.S. Forest Service fire investigator Darren Scheidell, a campfire ring was discovered at the origin of the Box Fire Canyon Fire that was first reported July 28.

Over the last two weeks the stubborn blaze, located approximately 12 miles east of Oakley, has continued to burn in the steep terrain, feeding on dense vegetation and deadfall causing campground and trail closures in the area.

Although some portions of the Ledgefork Campground near Smith Morehouse Canyon opened Thursday, visitors were warned that if the fire’s behavior changed they could be forced to evacuate. The Smith and Morehouse boat ramp and Smith and Morehouse trail, though, remain closed.

The midweek rainfall helped the suppression effort in some areas but increasing winds on Wednesday caused the fire to jump from Erickson Basin into the nearby Hell’s Kitchen area. According to the U.S. Forest Service, two crews were working along Smith Morehouse Creek to prevent the fire from spreading further.

As of mid-day Friday, approximately 83 personnel and two helicopters equipped water tanks were working on the Box Canyon Fire which was 15 percent contained.

The Forest Service is asking for help in identifying those who may have been responsible for starting the fire and if proven, they could be liable for a portion of the firefighting costs. Anyone with information can call 435-654-0470.

The Forest Service is expecting the hot, dry weather conditions to continue through the weekend and is asking travelers to be especially conscientious about fire safety.


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