A fire caused by target shooters started near a Saratoga Springs landfill Thursday afternoon.
Mandatory evacuations are the latest development in a wildfire burning outside of Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs that has been burning since Thursday evening.
Mandatory evacuations have been announced from east Kiowa Parkway to Highway 68 and north Grandview Ave. to Pony Express Parkway, according to KSL.com.
The fire has reached heights of 40 feet and had burned more than 600 acres by 8 p.m. Thursday. The blaze has been consuming the dry grass caused by Utah’s lack of rain, the Daily Herald reported.
The wildfire has been named the Dump Fire in part to the location of where it began. The Deseret News reported that this would be one of 20 forest fires started by gunfire this year.
Kevin Niepraschk spoke with The Universe about the evacuations.
The last time I spoke to my mother (who lives in Saratoga Springs) the fire was not too far away from the first set of homes at the top of the hill. The authorities called my parents and told them they had to be out in fifteen minutes. It started yesterday at 11:30 from target shooters. I called the cops, they said, ‘Yeah, we’ve been getting calls all day.’ I woke up this morning and it was all smoky. I told my parents to call me if you get evacuated. I grew up in Virginia where this never happened. Suddenly, I get a phone call and I don’t even know what to grab and I wasn’t even there, so they had to grab things that they thought were important to me and things that weren’t replaceable. I couldn’t ask my Mom to just grab everything, because she had her own personal things to grab.
My mom was running around my bedroom, and I am trying to visualize what is irreplaceable, but unfortunately most of it was packed away. And you have to think there are worse things, I suppose. You always hear about these things but people always forget that Utah is a desert and this is what happens in deserts. There really isn’t much we can do but what the fire department and rangers are doing. I feel helpless, because I work in Provo and can’t help. I swear I am not going to be able to concentrate today. They have a fire road up there, and they were able to utilize that yesterday but it got windy today and I don’t know if they were able to use that.
The frustrating thing is that they told us to stop going target shooting because we haven’t had rain. They’ve warned everyone because it has been a dry summer but people weren’t listening, they were shooting anyways. The sad thing is that we can blame people for starting the fire but they can’t do any thing. They don’t have the money to replace everything.
-Kevin Niepraschk of Saratoga Springs is a maintenance supervisor for the Colony Apartments in Provo, Utah.
- Silver Lake evacuation VOLUNTARY.
- Kiowa Valley is MANDATORY.
- Eagle Top is MANDATORY.
- Fremont Springs is MANDATORY.
- Three’s Crossing is MANDATORY.
Updates are available on the Eagle Mountain City Facebook page as well as on Twitter with the #dumpfire hashtag.
Eagle Mountain Dump Fire Evacuation Map
View Eagle Mountain Dump Fire Evacuation Map in a larger map
Keep following The Universe for quotes from those evacuated and more updates as they become available.