Abandoned fire-ring where investigators believe a campfire was abandoned, sparking the Tony Grove Fire, northwest of Tony Grove Lake (Courtesy: US National Forest)
LOGAN — Some hikers and campers were evacuated from the Tony Grove Campground after a fire started on the northwest side of the lake. The Tony Grove Fire, believed to be human caused, was reported Friday afternoon.
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest spokesman Toby Weed said 30 firefighters from the Forest Service, BLM and Cache County responded to the area. They were able to begin constructing a line around the fire, with the help of a helicopter dropping water on hot spots.
The fire is estimated to have burned approximately one-acre in steep terrain. It is already more than 60 percent contained.
Weed said, investigators suspect the fire started by an illegal campfire that was left abandoned. The fire escaped from a fire-ring that had been built in litter and duff from surrounding trees. Hidden embers were likely left smoldering unintentionally.
The fire re-kindled during the daytime heat and wind Friday, and escaped the fire-ring. It then began to spread into the dry vegetation nearby, including fallen and dead trees.
Weed said although they know the fire was human caused, it is still under investigation. He is asking for the public’s help, if anyone may have seen who might have started the fire. Hunters are also encouraged to review their game cameras for any suspicious activity.
Earlier this month, fire restrictions were put in place, banning all campfires in undeveloped areas of the National Forest. The fire restrictions also prohibit smoking, using charcoal, coal and wood stoves throughout the northern half of Utah, portions of southern Idaho and western Wyoming.
Weed said the parking lot at Tony Grove Lake will remain closed for the safety for firefighters and the public. Fire personnel are continuing to finish mopping up, checking for hot spots, and monitoring the fire.
— Uinta-Wasatch-Cache NF (@UWCNF) August 22, 2020