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Crews fighting wildfire near Utah Lake that fire officials say was started by target shooters

SHARE Crews fighting wildfire near Utah Lake that fire officials say was started by target shooters

A “rapidly growing” wildfire ignited Saturday, June 13, 2020, west of Utah Lake.

Utah Fire Info

SALT LAKE CITY — Crews on Saturday were battling a new wildfire west of Utah Lake caused by target shooters, firefighters said.

The fire was first reported when golfers at TalonsCove Golf Club noticed smoke coming from the hillside three-quarters of a mile away from the Fox Hollow neighborhood about 10:30 a.m., Saratoga Springs Fire Chief Jess Campbell said.

The neighborhood was not threatened by the blaze, as it was moving in the opposite direction due to wind, according to the fire chief.

Crews from multiple state and local agencies responded, along with air tankers and several fire engines, to fight the blaze.

By about 7 p.m., the fire was estimated 40 acres and was 70% contained.

Law enforcement in the area were told by witnesses that the fire was caused by people shooting propane tanks, but that had not been confirmed, Campbell said.

“But we do know that it was started by shooting, and we’re searching for a vehicle of interest. We haven’t got anybody apprehended at this time,” he said.

Campbell urged caution when shooting in the area due to high fire risk.

“It’s that time of the year, our lakes are full of moisture but our plants are not, and everything’s kind of at a critical stage right now,” he said.

Also on Saturday, a fire started near Bates Canyon Road in North Tooele about 11:30 a.m., said Jon Smith, North Tooele fire spokesman.

That fire also spread quickly through high grass due to the wind, he said. It was contained by about 2 p.m. The exact cause of the fire was undetermined, but Smith said it was likely human-caused.

“Very hot and windy day today made it especially dangerous for fire today. Thankfully we were able to team with our neighboring departments to make sure no structures were lost,” North Tooele fire officials said.

Meanwhile, the Lucin Fire burning west of the Great Salt Lake had been 80% contained on Saturday. Working to preserve historical landmarks in the area, firefighters had saved a trestle along the transcontinental railroad.