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Target shooting ignited wildfire burning on 780 acres in Weber County

Posted at 10:29 PM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-31 21:03:19-04

LIBERTY, Utah -- Fire officials confirmed target shooting sparked a wildfire that has grown to 780 acres in Weber County Friday.

Weber Fire District confirmed the Avon Fire was ignited by target shooting, and they are interviewing witnesses and working to locate the responsible person or people.

The Jones family owns and operates Broadmouth Canyon Ranch which provides guided elk hunts this time of year.

The fire was so intense, the ranch's employees joined firefighters in trying to keep the fire away from the lodge.

The lodge was spared, but due to the wind blowing the fire away.

The Jones family says this is the second fire they dealt with this summer, and are frustrated by the risks associated with the shooting range.

"I don`t know what can be done but something should be done," Garet Jones, owner of Broadmouth Canyon Ranch said. "Peoples lives are at risk, especially the firefighters up in there."

The fire had burned almost 800 acres as of Friday evening, and is about 10 percent contained.

Holin Wilbanks, spokesperson for Weber County Fire Management told Fox13 News Thursday the spreading of the fire has already displaced nearly a dozen people from their homes. It’s a precautionary measure until the fire is put out.

“The conditions are just right for the fire right now," Wilbanks said. "The dryness, the heat, and the wind we have been having."

More than 140 firefighters, multiple aircraft and dozers have been brought in to stop the fire in its tracks.

Though officials said the fire cane from the Avon gun range nearby, Wilbanks said that they are still investigating the actual cause of the fire.