Fireworks suspected in Mount Olympus fire

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A wildfire that burned on Mount Olympus through the night is now contained. Firefighters spent most of their night fighting the massive flames, and now the investigation into how it started is underway.

Assistant Chief Mike Watson of the Unified Fire Authority told KSL firefighters found fireworks at the point of origin of the fire, but they have not been confirmed as the cause.

If investigators can find the people responsible for starting the fire they could be responsible for footing the bill.

Firefighters started receiving calls about the fire around 11:20 last night. And by the time they got crews surrounding it, it had grown to several acres. Residents living nearby were worried the flames could possibly threaten homes, or even hikers on the Mount Olympus Trail.

"My wife said do we have to evacuate and I said it's not going to go across the freeway," Said local resident Dave Anderson.

While firefighters say no one was one was stuck on the trail, there were two people on Pete's Rock who saw the fire start. They reported to investigators several people were lighting off fireworks Wednesday night.

They also told investigators they saw seven people run down the trail, jump into two cars and drive away. The fire started shortly after.

If investigators can find the people responsible for starting the fire they could be responsible for footing the bill.

"They can be held accountable for the cost of putting this fire out. And depending on what operations we need to bring in, those expenses can go up in a hurry," said Watson.

It took 25 firefighters from both the U.S. Forest Service and Unified Fire Authority until 4 a.m. to contain the fire, and this afternoon the efforts to mop up hot spots continue.

The fire burned about 7 acres behind Pete's Rock, near the Mount Olympus Trail above Wasatch Boulevard and about 5400 South. Although the fire is contained, crews continue to monitor it.

Watson said favorable weather conditions and the Mount Olympus Trail helped crews in their firefighting efforts. The trail, he said, worked as a natural firebreak.

Crews used several hose lines to reach some of the flanks of the fire. Hand crews used saws to maintain the perimeter.

No one was injured and no homes were threatened by the fire.



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