Range Fire started by police officer, adds to the state’s 1,000+ wildfires this year

Top Stories

OREM, Utah (ABC4 News) – An investigation has determined that an Orem police officer is responsible for starting the Range Fire that’s burning in Utah County.

Fire officials said the officer was target shooting at the Orem Police Gun Range when the fire broke out on Saturday. They say he is cooperating with the investigation.  

The fire has now burned more than 3,400 acres of land, shut down roads, parks and even evacuated some homes for a time.

About 180 firefighters are working to fight the fire, and fire official Suzie Tenhagen said (as of Monday afternoon) containment is at 10 percent.

And with more than 1,000 wildfires that have burned throughout the state this year, Tenhagen said the season doesn’t seem to have an end in sight right now.  

“Our fire season seems to be turning more into a fire year – and throughout the United States – not just here in Utah,” she said.

With more wildfires impacting the Beehive State this year, Tenhagen said with little rainfall, the ground is dry, making it easier for a fire to start.

“Our conditions right now and for the past couple of years, we have had severe to extreme drought throughout the entire state,” she said.

For those enjoying the outdoors, Tenhagen said to be careful and mindful of what’s around you.

“It is hunting season. As hunters are out and about, please watch your backdrops as you are discharging a firearm – as well as if you’re having a dispersed campfire,” Tenhagen said. “Just make sure that’s out and cold to the touch before you leave it.”

Click here to download the ABC4 Utah News app for the first alerts on your phone. Sign up for the ABC4 Utah breaking news and daily newsletters.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

How to Help During the Holidays

More Toys for Tots