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Forest Fire

(Richfield Reaper, 5 July 1923)

Forest Fire Is Sweeping Canyon Bare

Fire is Believed to Have Originated in Loose Cotton from Dense Growth of Cottonwood Trees on Bullion Creek

A disastrous forest fire occurred near Marysvale Monday which required all available hands from Marysvale, the Bully Boy mill and from the forest service office at Richfield to subdue after 36 hours of strenuous fire fighting.

The fire originated on Bullion creek about five miles from Marysvale. Bullion creek has developed a dense growth of cottonwood timber, and great quantities of cotton has been blown from the trees this year. This fluffy material has gathered in places to a depth of eight inches. It is believed that in some way a spark, possibly from the smokestack of the recently started Bully Boy mill, ignited this cotton which has the qualities of gasoline in igniting power, and from this the flames spread rapidly in the underbrush, into Cottonwoods and then into the valuable timber near the Bully Boy holdings.

An alarm was sent out. The men at the Bully Boy mill set to work with a line of hose and kept the fire back from the mill property, but in spite of their most strenuous efforts two company houses were destroyed.

Meantime a forest service man passing through Marysvale on his way south heard the alarm. He gathered all the available men around Marysvale, pressed them into service and hastened to the scene of the fire. A message was sent to the forest service office at Richfield and H.C. Folster gathered ten men and started for Marysvale.

Valiant work was accomplished, in spite of the big start the fire had. The fire fighting forces were so disposed that the fire was kept within a comparatively small area. All night long the battle raged and the fire fighters eventually triumphed. At ten o'clock Tuesday morning the first was under control, but an area of several miles had been devastated over the hillsides.

But for prompt and efficient work of the forest service and Bully Boy employees, thousands of acres of valuable timber land would have been devastated, and mine and mill property destroyed.

Copyright 2006 by Ardis E. Parshall

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