Range Fire on Mount Timp continues to burn as evacuees return home

A fire rages near the mouth of Provo canyon due to a mishap at a police gun range on Saturday, Oct. 17. Photos courtesy of Trevor Beecher.

Residents throughout Utah County could see the glow of massive flames curling off of Mount Timpanogos throughout Saturday and much of Sunday. 

The fire, which is being referred to as the Range Fire, originated at the Orem Police Gun Range near the base of the mountain and was started by target shooting. The officer allegedly responsible is cooperating with officials. 

Crews responded to 1000 E. Cascade Drive in Orem around noon on Saturday and quickly issued an evacuation order for the surrounding area. At this time, the blaze is about 10 percent contained and has claimed just over 3,450 acres. Sundance Resort is under a pre-evacuation order, while all other evacuated residents were permitted to return home Sunday.

The fire also forced the closures of Provo Canyon, Squaw Peak Road and U.S. highway 189, which have since reopened. 

According to Orem Fire Department’s Shaun Hirst, the battalion chief, the first response plan had two components. 

“We are protecting infrastructure, Orem’s water system is up on that hill, as well as homes, so that is our priority,” Hirst said.

Students on UVUs main campus reported smoke in the air on Saturday. Due to a shift in canyon winds, the smoke seemed to dissipate by early Sunday morning. 

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