SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A wildfire burning on a Utah military installation has officials concerned about the potential it could spread to an area littered with thousands of unexploded shells, which could still detonate.
Utah National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Hank McIntire said Wednesday the wildfire was moving away from an artillery practice area, but it has previously gotten as close as a few hundred yards. Officials worry about what could happen if it marches back.
“We can’t actively fight the fire in that area because of the threat to personal safety,” McIntire said.
McIntire said the practice area covers hundreds of acres and has collected shells for nearly a century, since 1914. The unexploded shells could still ignite in a wildfire, sending shrapnel flying.