Some genuine community gratitude — and some pride, too — needs to be expressed about three highly visible events that were front-page news and had an impact on Tooele County.
The first event is the Middle Canyon Fire that erupted near the mouth of the canyon around 9 p.m. on July 26. Thanks to the alert eye of a passerby on an ATV, fire crews were on the blaze in minutes. Yet, the fire quickly burned through 88 acres of tinder-dry vegetation and trees, and soon threatened nearby homes to the south.
As a precaution, fire officials evacuated residents on Grimm Hill Road and Cassity Drive. Meanwhile the fire, driven by shifting winds, appeared eager to roll up the canyon and mountainside.
Throughout July 27, huge flames leapt from the south side of the canyon’s mouth, sending massive billows of smoke skyward. It was a dramatic sight and citizens lined up on nearby roadways to watch.
But the fire wasn’t allowed to create a disaster, thanks to fast acting fire crews from North Tooele Fire District, Tooele Army Depot Fire Department, Tooele City Fire Department, federal Bureau of Land Management, and state Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.
By early last week, the fire was mostly contained and, yet despite hyper dry conditions, miraculously scorched only 171 acres. Nearly 100 firefighters were on the job, along with aerial suppression by airplanes and helicopters. Today, the fire is out. Once again, local fire crews have demonstrated a brilliant ability to control and extinguish a wildfire that appeared poised to wreck havoc. Thanks to them for sparing the canyon and adjacent mountainsides from flames that likely would be raging still if left in less professional hands.
The second highly visible event is Country Fan Fest, which was held at Deseret Peak Complex July 26-29. For yet another year, the four-day country music festival attracted popular music artists and visitors to Tooele County, many of whom were seeing Tooele Valley for the first time. Fan Fest director Bracken Hudson estimated 25,000 people attended this year’s festival.
Since the first Country Fan Fest four years ago, the event has consistently shown a commitment to give patrons a great value in entertainment and give the local economy a welcomed boost of tourism dollars.
Also providing great entertainment value, and luring visitors to the area, is the Tooele County Fair, which was held last week and concluded Sunday at Deseret Peak Complex. According to fair director Ron Baum, this year’s fair enjoyed strong patron support, with even some spectators being turned away at the demolition derby due to a packed arena.
Baum said the 2018 Tooele County Fair is back to its “glory days” after having the best turnout he’s “seen in years.”
Big thanks to organizers and volunteers who make Country Fan Fest and the Tooele County Fair possible, and to the thousands of spectators who attend both events and contribute to the local economy. May both Fan Fest and the fair see continued growth and success.