Range Fire

Updates on the Orem Range Fire will be posted here as they become available. Updates are also available on the City’s Facebook and Instagram channels.

Updates for Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020

The Range Fire didn’t grow very much over night as the current burned acreage is now at 3,496. Command staff reported this morning that containment is still at 33%.
 
  • Total Personnel is now at 266:¬†With more of the fire contained, several personnel assigned to this incident have been demobilized.
 
  • Parks & Trails in the Canyon are Still Closed:¬†There has been a real problem with “looky-loos” trying to get a closer look at the fire up the canyon. This has caused serious safety concerns for those fighting the fire. Please stay out of the parks and off the trails to allow these brave responders the space and safety they need to operate. If you want to get a look of any action in the canyon,¬†check out UDOT’s live camera feed.
 
  • Wind Event:¬†High winds are forecasted in the canyon from 2pm to 5pm today. Aircraft will be working nonstop until the wind kicks up and then will have to be grounded due to safety concerns until the wind has died down. Leadership Command will reassess the situation after the wind has cleared.
 
  • More Boots on the Ground:¬†More firefighters are being airlifted into action on the western flank of the fire to help complete the fireline construction along that permeter.
 
  • Possible Power Shutoff:¬†Rocky Mountain Power has notified customers in the canyon that there is a strong likelihood that they will initiate a public safety power shutoff to inspect power facilities. This planned shutoff does not affect Orem directly but could impact city infrastructure in the canyon such as tanks, springs, etc.¬†A map of the shutoff area can be found here.
 
  • SR 92 is Still Closed:¬†SR 92 will remain closed today and through Thursday night.

Updates for Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020

  • Parks and Trails in the Canyon are Closed:¬†All local parks down both sides of Hwy 189 are closed including Canyon Glen Park, Canyon View Park, Mt. Timpanogos Park, Nunns Park, Bridal Veil Falls/Park and Upper Falls Picnic Area. Trail closures include Provo River trail from the mouth of Provo Canyon to Vivian Park, Dry Canyon trailhead, trail #049 Dry Canyon Trail and #033 Little Baldy/Great Western Trail.
 
  • Bridal Veil Focus:¬†A lot of the focus of today’s efforts will be on the area near Bridal Veil Falls.
 
  • Incoming Storm Front:¬†The command team is preparing for a storm front coming in from Wyoming. Forecasters are predicting gusty winds, low humidity and warmer temperatures which could prove challenging to containment efforts.
 
  • Spike Team:¬†A spike team of firefighters has been airlifted into the mountains to help on the ground. The current personnel count on this fire is 220.
 
  • Helipad has Moved:¬†The helipad in the Orem Cemetery has been moved to the Dry Canyon trailhead parking lot out of respect for families holding funerals in the cemetery.
 
  • Tracking Fire Response Aircraft:¬†For anyone interested in seeing the activity of the aircraft fighting this fire,¬†check out this resource.¬†You’ll be able to see the type, flight path, and other details about the air assets engaged in the fight.
 
  • Mt. Timpanogos Park:¬†Mt. Timpanogos Park is not currently threatened by the fire.
 
  • Water Resource Update:¬†As a precaution, the culinary water from Alta Springs has been diverted out of the city water system. There is currently too much debris (fallen rocks, tree limbs, etc.) on the path leading to the upper springs to move in for a closer look. Water quality tests are still being taken regularly to monitor and guard against any contamination.
 
  • Sundance Still in Pre-Evacuation:¬†Residents of Sundance are still on pre-evacuation notice.

Updates for Monday, Oct. 19, 2020

All parks in Provo Canyon are closed and barricades are being put in place to keep people out of the parks. The Highway Patrol will be circulating every 10 minutes to advise people to stay out of the parks.
The trail closures are still in place. The Dry Canyon trailhead in Lindon, Dry Canyon trail, Little Baldy/Great Western trail and Forest Service road #027 are also closed.

New Acreage Estimate: A flyover this morning estimates that 3,400 acres have burned.

More Personnel: We now have 200 personnel fighting this wildfire with continued air support. Helicopters will be filling up at Mt. Timpanogos Park as well as a dip location in Lindon. Once again, no drones in the area are allowed.

Still at 10% Containment: Fire activity has been fairly quiet on the north side but the fire remains 10% contained.

HWY US-189 is Open: The highway through Provo Canyon was opened this morning at 5am. Both eastbound lanes are open. Only one lane is open westbound as the right lane has been reserved for responders to provide quick access to the scene.

Monitoring Air Quality: Residents can monitor air quality in real time for free with PurpleAir made possible by UTOPIA. Please stay safe and take precautions, especially if you have any respiratory conditions.


Statement from the City of Orem about the Cause of the Range Fire

After close cooperation with State investigators, it has been determined that the #RangeFire was human-caused and originated from the Orem Police Gun Range on the morning of October 17, 2020.

The Orem Police Officer onsite at the time when the fire started is cooperating fully with the investigation. In addition to the State’s review of this case, the City of Orem is currently conducting an internal review and safety audit into the matter as well. This information will be released as soon as it is completed.

The Orem Police Gun Range has been in operation since 1986 and has been an important resource in the proper training of Orem’s police officers and other law enforcement professionals in the valley and beyond.

We express our sincerest gratitude to the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, the Utah Department of Natural Resources, and all other agencies who are currently assisting in the effort to put out the fire. The City recognizes the strain this unfortunate event has placed on the community and appreciates the community’s ongoing support.


Statement from the Fire and State Lands about the Cause of the Range Fire
Investigators determined that the human-caused Range Fire originated at the Orem Police Gun Range and was caused by target shooting. The Orem Police Officer who was present when the fire started is cooperating with officials. The investigation is on-going; more information will be released as it comes available.

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