Report says fire may have smoldered for 18 months before igniting Utah wildfire

Friday, December 7, 2012

Residual heat from tree debris burned in December 2010 may have ignited a Duchesne County, Utah, wildfire that destroyed homes in June, according to a state report.

But the final report on the Church Camp Fire is not conclusive. Investigators for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands wrote it is "highly unlikely" a fire could reignite after 18 months, but said there was no evidence of lightning, arson or anything else that could have started the blaze.

"One single log or root can smolder underground just as long as it's getting enough air to survive," said Jason Curry, one of the fire investigators, in an interview Tuesday.