U.S. Forest Service investigators believe a Nevada man who became lost during the elk hunt may have inadvertently started a 150-acre wildfire, an official says.
However, no decision has been made on whether to take civil action against the man to recover the $160,000 it cost to control the fire, said Ranger Dave Baumgartner of the Logan District of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest.Baumgartner said the Spawn Creek fire in Logan Canyon about 25 miles from here was reported on Oct. 9 and controlled Oct. 15.
"At some point, the hunter built a fire to warm himself, and may have failed to completely extinguish it," he said.
A fire restriction was and still is in effect throughout the forest in Cache, Rich, Box Elder, Morgan, Weber, Davis counties, excluding the High Uintas Primitive Area.
Information obtained from several hunters led Forest Service employees and a special investigator to the suspect, whose name was not released.
Baumgartner said the Forest Service does not intend to file criminal charges against the man, "but we may file a civil action as a way to have him pay for the fire suppression costs."
He said patrols have been increased for the deer hunt that began this weekend.