Fires popping up in or near Sanpete

Local firefighters respond to a 15-acre brush fire in Ephraim City over Labor Day weekend. The fire could have been disastrous due to proximity to the city water source says officials.

Fires popping up in or near Sanpete

By Robert Stevens

Managing Editor



Although Sanpete County has not been hit as hard as last year when it comes to wildfire, there are still fires popping up close to home.

            Closest to home is the Mammoth Fire, which ignited in the mountains east of Mt. Pleasant on Saturday due to lightning, according to utahfireinfo.gov.

            The fire burned 800 acres at press time and was 60 percent contained. It was ignited on July 24, and as of Sept. 5, 85 personnel were working to extinguish it.

            The estimated cost of fighting the fire so far is more than $800,000.

            A number of road closures are in effect in connection with the fire.

            A brush fire also ignited in the middle of Ephraim over Labor Day weekend.

            “It was potentially very bad,” said Ephraim City Manager Shaun Kjar during the recent meeting of the city council. “It was caught early, even though it was over a holiday weekend, and all our emergency personnel had to break away from their holidays.”

            According to Kjar, the fire, which sparked on the south east corner of the city, stopped before it started burning houses and turned toward Ephraim Canyon. The fire was extinguished before it burned any of the canyon.

Kjar said the fire was contained to 15 acres, and no injuries or major losses resulted from it.

Ephraim City Mayor John Scott said the situation could have been disastrous due to the fires proximity to the city water source.

“The nightmare I had was the thought of a fire going up the canyon and ruining our springs,” Scott said. “If a fire goes through the springs, contamination sets in immediately and will not clear up for at least 2-3 years.”