Human-Caused Range Fire Originated From Orem Police Gun Range, Officials Say
OREM, Utah – The Range Fire burning in Utah County was confirmed to have been started by target shooting.
Fire officials reported the Range Fire started Saturday at the Orem Police Department gun range. As of Monday morning, the fire had burned more than 3,400 acres and was 10% contained.
Authorities said the blaze was sparked an officer’s target shooting at the range. The officer is cooperating with the investigation.
“In addition to the State’s review of this case, the City of Orem is currently conducting an internal review and safety audit into the matter as well,” according to a statement from Orem City. “This information will be released as soon as it is completed.”
Crews have been working around the clock battling the fire.
The fire is burning near U.S. 189 in Provo Canyon and has forced several road closures.
Authorities said wind is the primary concern for crews, and one of their biggest challenges is the steep rocky terrain, which also acts as a natural fire barrier.
U.S. Forest Service Spokeswoman Suzie Tenhagen said 180 personnel from the air to the ground will be working the fire.
“Fire season is definitely not over,” she said. “The state as a whole is in extreme or severe drought conditions, which makes our fuels very dry. So anybody that is out and about needs to use extra caution.”
Air quality is another concern for residents in Provo and Orem, and they are advised to stay indoors, keep windows and doors closed, and avoid strenuous activity outside.
U.S. 189 is open, but UDOT is warning drivers not to stop while driving through Provo Canyon.