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Property owners sue for damages suffered in Machine Gun Fire

By Devon Dolan | Posted - Mar. 3, 2014 at 10:48 p.m.


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HERRIMAN — Property owners are going after the Utah National Guard for the damage left behind after a 2010 wildfire. They filed a lawsuit Monday seeking an undisclosed amount of money.

On Sept. 20, 2010, the Machine Gun Fire burned through 4,300 acres in the southern part of the Salt Lake Valley near Camp Williams. The wildfire destroyed nearby homes and forced the evacuation of more than 1,600 families.

The Utah National Guard was blamed for igniting the devastation; investigators said the fire was sparked by firearm training at Camp Williams — training that was held during an extreme fire danger warning.

Court documents state that "wildland fire management personnel had red flag warnings in their possession for three days prior" to the fire, that "soldiers continued to train on the range while the fire was burning," and that "firefighters did not pursue the fire to extinguish it."

The property owners are suing for an undisclosed amount in damages, siting negligence and emotional distress.

This isn't the first lawsuit for the Machine Gun Fire. In September, Farmers Insurance and State Farm Insurance also sued the National Guard to recover $1.3 million in claims.

The Utah National Guard declined to comment Monday. KSL is also waiting to hear back from the attorneys of the property owners.

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Devon Dolan

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