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Scott Sommerdorf | Salt Lake Tribune LITTLE SAHARA A "sand rail" dune buggy with a $100 bill flag drives among other off-road enthusiasts at Little Sahara National Recreation Area, Saturday 4/3/10. Some of the people that come to Little Sahara each year spend thousands of dollars on their hobby. Four- and two-wheel enthusiasts, dune buggies and more kick off the spring season with motorized recreation and camping at Little Sahara sand dunes., Saturday 4/3/10.
2 new heli pads built at Little Sahara to help with injuries
First Published Apr 24 2014 10:07 am • Last Updated Apr 24 2014 08:11 pm

Citing frequent ATV crashes and associated injuries, federal crews have installed two helicopter landing pads at the Little Sahara Recreation Area.

One of the 2,500-square-foot helipads was built near the visitors center; the other is 3 miles northeast of Sand Mountain, "where most of the accidents occur," according to a BLM press statement.

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The pads were created to improve flight safety by lessening the dust blown during landings and take-offs, BLM spokeswoman Lisa Reid wrote. Dust previously compromised visibility and threatened to enter helicopter engines. The pads also provide water and electricity for emergency equipment.

Little Sahara hosted more than 20,000 visitors during Easter weekend, typically the busiest of the year, Reid wrote.

This weekend the new landing pads were used to fly three people to hospitals for treatment of traumatic injuries, Reid wrote; three others were taken by ground ambulance to hospitals and 33 were treated at an on-site medical trailer. Injuries ranged from head trauma and broken bones to cuts, scrapes and allergic reactions.

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