And the rains came . . . and snuffed out the fire.
A fire that shot up the face of drought-stricken Mount Ogden Monday afternoon was contained Tuesday and declared controlled Wednesday morning after rain fell throughout the night."We're not calling it dead out; we're calling it controlled. It's basically 95 percent out," said Randy Welsh, Ogden district ranger for the U.S. Forest Service. "The weather's been a big help."
The ranger said Wednesday morning that fire crews were pulled off the mountain Tuesday evening and they will remain off the mountain until the weather clears up. He said about 60 firefighters have been sent home.
Welsh said Forest Service officials planned to fly over the charred land and look for remaining hot spots and smoke, and then another crew would go up and finish putting out the fire.
Welsh said investigators have determined that the fire was "person-caused." Officials believe the fire was started by either a campfire or fireworks in an area that is a popular local party spot.
A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for starting the fire.
Welsh believes that the taxpayers will end up paying between $70,000 and $80,000 to fight the fire, which threatened nearby homes when it first broke out.
About 100 firefighters from Ogden City and the Forest Service were called to the scene Monday afternoon after the blaze roared up the mountain and burned about 180 acres of grass and brush.
Welsh said his agency is also accepting donations from the public to help reseed Strong Canyon. He said he hopes the reseeding can begin before the first snowfall to prevent mud and landslides in the spring.