Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 31, 2020
2020 Top 10 Stories: #7 A summer of wildfires 

Wildfires raged during the summer of 2020 in Tooele County.

During the first week of June two Stansbury Island Fires scorched more than 13,000 acres.

July also  an extra busy month for firefighters from Tooele County, Utah and the BLM as they battled to control a flurry of more wildfires.

In one week crews battled five wildfires in the county in a three-day span.

One fire between SR-138 and Erda Way consumed 9.43 acres. Another fire near Stockton started 15 minutes after the Erda fire and burned 11.7 acres. A third fire along I-80 in the west desert burned 23.4 acres. 

A fourth fire called the “Poverty Point” fire started at 2:10 p.m. on a Saturday and consumed 308 acres on the south end of Lakeside Mountains. The blaze was caused by an individual discharging a firearm in an area of dry vegetation. Grantsville Fire Department responded with two engines and one water tender, North Tooele Fire Department brought two engines. BLM crews were out in force with four engines.

The fifth fire in three days started at Five-Mile Pass when a gas-powered generator overheated and caught fire. The fire spread to 4.3 acres with no significant damage. Three individuals had to be evaluated for smoke inhalation.

All the fires were caused by human activity.

Throughout the summer smoke from forest fires invaded Tooele Valley lowering air quality to the yellow or moderate level, according to the Utah Division Of Air Quality.

The smoke was composed of a complex mixture of gases, fine particles, and water vapor that form when organic matter burns. Particulates from smoke are a mixture of solid particles—pieces of wood and other burning solids—and liquid droplets. It posed a health threat.

Those sensitive to smoke were asked to reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion, according to the DAQ.


Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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