By Robert S. Merrill
Franklin County Fire District fire crews, with help from Cache County and the Forest Service, battled a 250-acre blaze in the foothills in Mink Creek Friday afternoon.
The call was reported at 11:47 a.m. and all local crews left the area by 9:11 p.m. when it was contained. Local fire marshal Scott Martin said the fire burned CRP grasses, sage, cedar and juniper trees and was mostly on private ground at milepost 11.5, just off Highway 36.
Some 13 local firefighters from Preston and Dayton were assisted by two, three-man crews from Lewiston and Richmond through a mutual-aid agreement. Forest Service personnel also assisted. Martin said 10-12 fire-retardant drops by small aircraft, based out of Pocatello, also helped contain things.
“The fire was human-caused and there were no injuries and no structures were damaged. Some fire poles were burned, but no damage estimate has been made. Forest Service observers stayed on scene until Saturday to monitor hot spots,” he said. “Investigation is continuing.”
The fire department also responded to two more fires in the county over the weekend and Martin cautioned all residents to use extreme caution in all outdoor activities because it is so dry.
“We all need to use common sense with anything we are doing outdoors. Even the smallest spark can ignite a fire,” he said.
On Saturday afternoon crews from Preston and Dayton responded to a grass fire in the Linrose area. The fire was reported at 3:53 p.m. and the fire was out by 5:30 p.m., said Martin.
“This fire was also human-caused and was in the Union Pacific right-of-way. It burned three acres and damaged some power poles owned by the railroad, as well as some by Pacific Corp.,” he said. “Eight firefighters with four trucks put out the blaze.”
On Sunday morning a small grass fire was reported at 1393 N. 800 W. at 6:05 a.m. Martin said it burned one-half acre and damaged a fence. The cause of this fire is undetermined at this point, he said.
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