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It is difficult to see how the Utah National Guard can continue with some of its traditional training exercises on a military reservation that once was mostly isolated, but now is surrounded by subdivisions and thousands of people.

The Guard's commander deserves credit for quickly and succinctly apologizing for the untold grief caused by the so-called machine gun fire. Major General Brian Tarbet's admission of a communications breakdown and acceptance of responsibility for the disaster was a significant step in the healing process.

But what about the mission of Camp Williams?

For more than a year Guard personnel have been meeting with officials from adjoining communities regarding Camp Williams related issues. A consultant has been hired and a major study is to be undertaken. The recent fire, of course, underscores the urgency to get the job done.

Fundamental to the study, in KSL's view, is the realization that Camp Williams is no longer a remote facility. Zoning laws and other tools can be used by surrounding communities to buffer citizens from base activities. But the bigger issue is whether Camp Williams is the appropriate location for the types of military training exercises that led to the fire.

In view of what happened, the status quo will be difficult to justify.

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