Two western fires attributed to gunfire
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A Utah wildfire that was likely started by recreational shooters has raced through more than 4,00o acres of grass, brush and timber near Saratoga Springs, resulting in the evacuation of more than a 1,000 residents. according to InciWeb.org.
The Dump Fire also threatens a dynamite manufacturing plant in the area. Officials have cordoned off an area about one to two miles around the plant to try and mitigate harm.
The fire is burning south of Salt Lake City and west of Provo, near the east shore of Utah Lake.
The fire started June 21 and continues to spread rapidly in extremely dry conditions, with temperatures in the upper 80s and relative humidity in the single digits. Officials are reporting the fire as 30 percent contained, with 300 firefighters at the scene.
The fire grew explosively Friday with rapid downhill runs and the potential for additional growth is extreme.
The Dump Fire is the second fire in recent days suspected to have been started by shooting. The cause 1,145-acre Springer Fire in Park County, Colorado, is being investigated by local and federal officials, who said that it may have been sparked by gunfire.
The Springer Fire caused hundreds of evacuations and resulted in the closure of the popular Elevenmile Canyon recreation area. It’s reported as 87 percent contained and most evacuations have been lifted, though the canyon remains closed.
Nationally, five new large fires were reported Friday, with a total of 19 fires burning across nearly half a million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center:
New Mexico (2)
North Carolina (1)