Small fires flare up in Sanpete

Courtesy Cory Madsen
A fixed-wing aircraft drops fire retardant on hot spots in the fire near Yuba.

As larger fires burned elsewhere in the state last week, Sanpete County grappled with three serious fires right here at home.

On Tuesday, June 15, a fire east of Spring City, dubbed the Spring Fire by fire officials, and a fire east of Mt. Pleasant, near Parley’s Pond, were extinguished only after quick work from fire crews and air support.

Then, over the weekend, a fire sprang up on the border of Sanpete and Juab, near Yuba Reservoir. As of Monday, that fire was nearing full containment.

The Spring Fire was by far the most dangerous of the three fires, burning 5-10 acres on the slopes east of Spring City near the road leading up the canyon.

Due to the Spring Fire, more than 500 Scouts were evacuated out of precaution from Camp Tifie, located slightly north of the fire in the mountains east of Mt. Pleasant. A youth home was also evacuated.

The fire started in the early afternoon and spread unfettered until fire crews from Spring City, Mt. Pleasant, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management were able to beat it back with help from a Blackhawk helicopter and three fixed-wing aircraft. The helicopter dumped buckets of water on the fire, and the planes could be seen dropping fire retardant on the blaze throughout the evening.

By the evening, the Spring Fire had been mostly contained.

Meanwhile, 4 acres of sagebrush near Parley’s Pond caught fire, but the combined efforts of Mt. Pleasant, Spring City and Fairview’s fire crews were able to put it out before it could spread much further.

The Yuba area fire, dubbed MM17, started on Saturday, June 26 and grew to 13 acres. As of Monday, it was at 80 percent containment.

The causes of the fires are being investigated.

Courtesy Michael Black
A Blackhawk helicopter fills its water bucket with a dip before returning to dump it on the Spring Fire in Spring
on Tuesday.
Robert Stevens / Messenger Photo
Evacuees gather at the Spring City Park in response to a fire Tuesday, June 15 east of Spring City.