Fire Officials: Goshen Fire Started By Target Shooting
SANTAQUIN, Utah – State fire officials said the Goshen Fire burning near Santaquin was started by target shooting in the area.
“Yet another to add to the list of recent fires with that cause,” officials said.
The fire had burned 150 acres and was 90% contained as of Monday afternoon. A red flag warning is in effect for the area Monday, and firefighters asked the public to use caution while recreating outdoors.
#GoshenFire Human caused; target shooting. There is a red flag warning in effect for today. Use caution while recreating outdoors. #SparkChangeWildfirePrevention https://t.co/qBt70uYBNy pic.twitter.com/bP9cQnDTA7
— Utah Fire Info (@UtahWildfire) September 14, 2020
Structures were initially threatened by the fire Sunday evening. State fire officials said some evacuations were underway, but later said those reports were inaccurate.
“A lot of times, smoke plumes tend to cause people more fear than is necessary, especially where it looks so close to you,” said Sierra Hellstrom, spokesperson for Goshen Fire. “It was just I think out of caution that some people were concerned and thought they were evacuating and some miscommunication with dispatch.”
Meanwhile drones and unauthorized airplanes have interfered with aerial fire operations on the Goshen, William and Ether Hollow Fires over the past few days.
An email from the William Fire Public Information office said there have been two drone incursions and two airplane incursions into Temporary Flight Restrictions over the fires.
Firefighting aircraft are required to land and wait for the airspace is cleared. Then they can continue dropping water and retardent on the fires.
The email said flying manned or unmanned aircraft into a TFR is punishable by fines, license suspension, and possible imprisonment.
All aircraft pilots in the incursion incidents were tracked down and turned over to local and federal authorities.
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