BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
FARMINGTON — The Farmington Spine Fire is 100 percent contained, but not before sending one firefighter to the hospital and spurring an investigation into target shooters.
The wildfire burned 58 acres, or about one tenth of a square mile. Crews are expected to remain on scene through Monday evening checking for hot spots. The fire was declared contained at 8 p.m. Sunday night.
The blaze began Friday night in the foothills above Farmington, one mile south of Farmington Canyon. Investigators believe target shooters started it, according to Kim Osborn, fire information officer for the U.S. Forest Service. Authorities brought in five people for questioning.
“We don’t believe it was set intentionally,” Osborn said.
The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed.
Crews kept flames above the firebreak road and it never threatened homes, Osborn said.
“The crews did a fabulous job of fighting the fire,” she said.
Two air tankers, two helicopters, four fire engines and 60 firefighters attacked the blaze over the weekend. In addition to Forest Service personnel, firefighters from the North Davis Fire District, South Davis Metro Fire Agency, Farmington Fire Department, and Layton and Kaysville fire departments worked to contain the blaze. The Davis County Sheriff’s Office also helped.
One firefighter was pulled from the fire lines and taken to Intermountain Medical Center with heat-related injuries.
“We take these injuries very seriously,” Osborn said.
The Farmington Canyon Road had been closed because of the fire, but was reopened Monday morning.
Farmington residents living west of the fire know all too well what devastation a fire can cause.
On July 10, 2003, what became known nationwide as the “Farmington Fire,” began just west of the Farmington Spine Fire. At one point, the Farmington Fire was the most significant in the nation. It drew top wildland firefighters from across the country and destroyed more than 2,000 acres. That conflagration brought about 300 firefighters into Farmington, because of its proximity to homes.
Like this weekend’s fire, the 2003 Farmington Fire was human-caused. A transient who later turned himself in to authorities admitted he had set it to get a place to sleep and a meal in jail.