Evacuations in Fruit Heights were lifted Monday night, but residents were warned to be on alert as firefighters continued to battle the Francis Fire, which grew to an estimated 365 acres.
Officials believe the Francis Fire may have been started by lightning as long as a week ago and smoldered until high winds on Monday caused it to spread quickly. The fire is 20% contained, and retardant has been dropped around the entire fire. As of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the fire had not grown in the past 12 hours.
Lower temperatures, rain and a shift in wind direction helped slow the fire overnight. More than 100 firefighters and four helicopters returned to battle the blaze Tuesday morning.
Mandatory evacuations issued after the Francis Fire began Monday afternoon were lifted at 10 p.m., and fire officials don’t expect it to threaten homes again. But the Davis County Sheriff’s Office advised residents “to be in the ‘Ready, set, go!’ mode” because strong winds make the fire unpredictable.
Authorities are asking anyone who has photos of the fire soon after it started to share them.
Meanwhile, a cabin was destroyed by fire in Tooele County early Tuesday morning, but there were no injuries and no evacuations — although nearby residents were cautioned.
According to a spokesman for the North Tooele Fire District, a fire was reported in the South Willow Canyon area southwest of Grantsville about 2 a.m. When crews arrived, they found the weekend cabin — which was not occupied — engulfed in flames. The fire began to burn up the mountain before it was contained.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Firefighters were unsure if it began in the cabin and spread to the surrounding area or began outside and spread to the cabin.