The quick response of a Hellsgate Fire Department Lieutenant and Hellsgate firefighters stopped a small cabin fire from spreading to the Tonto National Forest and neighboring homes Monday night.
Around 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 2, police received a 911 called from a concerned citizen about a possible forest fire in Mead Ranch, which is located south of the fish hatchery on Forest Road 29, said Fire Chief Gary Hatch.
Hellsgate firefighter Lt. Rick Washburn, who lives in the area, raced to the scene and discovered a cabin was fully engulfed in flames. Several volunteer firefighters from the area arrived at the cabin shortly thereafter and dragged 200 feet of hose to the cabin, which is located in a remote section of the 200 block of Cabin Estates. It was nearly impossible for crews to get fire trucks close to the blaze, because the cabin has no driveway, Hatch said.
Flames spewed from all angles of the 400-square-foot cabin, which had been recently remodeled, and were spreading to nearby grasses and tress. A neighbor’s shed was in danger of catching fire. More than two-dozen Hellsgate firefighters responded by 6:45 p.m., and had the fire under control 30 minutes later.
“If this fire had happened in June, it would have been a totally different outcome,” Hatch said. “They held the fire, saved another home and shed.”
The homeowners were not home at the time, and no one was injured.
Christopher Kohls, Whispering Pines and Beaver Valley Fire Departments along with Lifestar ambulance were on standby if the fire spread while the U.S. Forest Service responded. The Payson Fire Department covered the Hellsgate Star Valley station until crews returned.