Fire crews expect Tuesday to contain a mountain brush fire that sent a gigantic swell of smoke over the Utah and Salt Lake valleys Monday.
The rapidly moving blaze had charred about 2,800 acres southwest of Cedar Fort by Tuesday morning, said Frank Wiggins, Interagency Fire Center spokesman. Flames consumed one shed and a bull. A firefighter was slightly injured when a rock rolled into his shoulder.Investigators believe the fire, spotted about 11:40 a.m. Monday in Pole Canyon, was started by people in the area. Utah County sheriff's Lt. Ron Fernstedt said detectives are investigating several leads into the cause. Investigators are looking into the report of a fire on the mountainside Sunday.
Fernstedt said the column of smoke seen for miles reached 19,000 feet in altitude.
"You'd think an oil field was burning," Wiggins said.
Oak brush, cedar and pine fueled the fire. South winds estimated at 25 mph pushed billowing smoke as far north as Parleys Canyon. Ashes rained on the Salt Lake Valley from West Jordan to the University of Utah, Fernstedt said.
Nearly 2,000 acres of the burned land is privately owned, while the Bureau of Land Management and state Division of Lands and Forestry manage the rest. About 200 head of cattle remain on the mountainside. Hunters scoping deer near two cabins in the canyon were evacuated Monday.
About 140 federal, state and local firefighters are working to extinguish the fire. Wiggins said crews expect to control the blaze by Wednesday.
Although firefighters considered evacuating Cedar Fort Monday, Fernstedt said the town was never in danger.