Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image A target shooter started a fire in the Lakeside area Saturday. The blaze came within miles U.S. Magnesium. (Courtesy of Jolie Gordon)

September 4, 2018
Fire burns 9,900 acres near U.S. Magnesium

A large wildfire that burned thousands of acres in the area of Lakeside over the weekend is now out, according to the state Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. 

The fire, which was started around 3 p.m. Saturday, came within miles of U.S. Magnesium, which complicated firefighting operations. Wasatch Front Area Fire Management Officer Dave Vickers said the possibility of chlorine gas near the facility, a byproduct of magnesium refining, meant they couldn’t deploy firefighters in all the areas they wanted.

Firefighters from North Tooele Fire District, Grantsville Fire Department, Tooele County Fire Dan Walton, the Bureau of Land Management, and the state battled the fire, as well as engines from Bluffdale and Provo. 

To contain the fire, crews burned a perimeter along defensible space to box in the fire, Vickers said. The back burn operation increased the area that was burned, which totaled 9,900 acres, but hemmed in the fire with minimum resources, he said. 

The Lakeside Fire is deemed 100 percent contained and out, according to a state fire website. The fire is believed to have been caused by target shooters and a state fire investigator will follow-up on the fire today, Vickers said. 

Another human-caused fire was sparked around noon on Labor Day along eastbound Interstate 80 at Exit 99, according to North Tooele Fire District spokesman Ryan Willden. The fire burned 5 acres and shut down the interstate for about 30 minutes. 

Crews battled the fire until about 4 p.m., when it was fully contained, Willden said. NTFD firefighters checked on the fire site for flare-ups again Tuesday morning. 

While the specific cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation, Willden said small wildfires were also sparked at mileposts 105 and 107, likely from the same source. 

 

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