Target shooters spark wildfire near Eagle Mountain

Posted at 10:04 PM, Jun 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-11 00:04:34-04

UTAH COUNTY -- With these dry conditions and strong winds, it does not take long for a wildfire to get started. A matter of seconds and one spark can send an entire hillside up in flames.

That's exactly what happened in Eagle Mountain Saturday afternoon.

Three acres of brush were burned in a matter of minutes.

"The thing about Utah is the wild fire season comes up pretty quick, we just had a pretty wet spring, and just the last few days we've had red flag weather conditions, really windy, really hot, really dry," said Riley Pilgrim with Unified Fire Authority.

Unified Fire Authority said the Eagle Mountain fire started innocently enough, with a couple out having a little target practice.

"They were shooting using Tannerite, which I think people underestimate what that can do, and totally accidental, came out here to a pretty remote area and the next thing you know a fire started," Pilgrim said.

Firefighters say what your dealing with isn't just brush, it's fuel. One shot is all it takes to have a disaster on your hands.

"Those bounce off of rocks, or steel targets, they land in the grass, which is dry, it's a pretty common way to start a fire," Pilgrim said.

More than 35 firefighters worked to contain the blaze before it threatened any homes or structures. They say monitoring hotspots is just as important as dousing the flames.

"The chances of something reigniting is high," Pilgrim said. "So right now they are up there using hose lines and tools and chainsaws they are extinguishing any remaining hotspots."