By Sgt. Nathaniel Free
| Utah National Guard | July 7, 2019
The Oak Springs Utah Fire started at the machine gun range of Camp Williams and burned approximately 200 acers before it was stopped at fire breaks, July 15, 2019. Three helicopters, thirteen brush trucks, two dozers, a grader, and over sixty personnel managed to contain the fire. (Photo by UTNG Visual Information Office)
The Oak Springs Utah Fire started at the machine gun range of Camp Williams and burned approximately 200 acres before it was stopped at fire breaks, July 15, 2019. Three helicopters, thirteen brush trucks, two dozers, a grader, and over sixty personnel managed to contain the fire. (Photo by UTNG Visual Information Office)
CAMP WILLIAMS, Utah –The Utah National Guard responded to a fire that started during training at the Camp Williams .50 Caliber gun range around 11 a.m., July 14, 2019. The fire spread into a draw known as Oak Springs and burned approximately 200 acres before it was contained within fire breaks.
“The fire danger was low at the time of the training, but updated to ‘high’ as the weather changed,” said Maj. Toby Adamson, deputy commander, Utah Training Center, Camp Williams.
More than 60 Utah Guard and Unified Fire Authority personnel engaged the fire with 18 brush trucks, three UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, two dozers, and one grader. The helicopters made repeated sorties from nearby water sources, where they filled 600-gallon buckets, and dropped a total of 51,000 gallons of water on the fire.
The dozers and grader widened existing fire breaks and added two contingency fire breaks west of the fire.
A large UTA air tanker dropped 3,000 gallons of fire retardant in a single pass, around 3 p.m., and two smaller tankers dropped 700 gallons each about 4 p.m.
By 6 p.m., UTA determined the fire 100 percent contained, and expect to call it “out” in the next few days, after mopping up the remaining hot spots.
“We want to be good neighbors to the surrounding community and do everything we can to prepare for the possibility of fires on Camp Williams,” said Adamson. “As we continue to monitor weather patterns, improve fire breaks, and communicate with surrounding agencies, we hope to never have a fire that would threaten the property of Utah citizens.”