Two wildfires start near Utah Lake, as new fire restrictions take effect on Utah public lands

(Photo courtesy of Utah Wildfire Info) Smoke rises from the Big Springs Fire, south of Interstate 80 along State Road 196 in Tooele County on June 14, 2020.

Two new wildfires ignited near Utah Lake west of Spanish Fork on Monday afternoon, while two other wildfires continued to burn in Tooele County.

That came as new fire restrictions went into effect on federal land across northern and central Utah.

The new Orchard fire had burned about 100 acres as of 6 p.m. on Monday evening, and its cause was under investigation, according to the Utah Wildlife Info website.

The nearby Lincoln fire was only 5 acres in size. It was ignited by target shooters hitting an exploding target over dry vegetation.

The Big Springs Fire in Tooele County has burned nearly 3,000 acres, south of Interstate 80 along State Road 196, which was briefly closed to traffic, according to a wildfire website. As of Sunday, the fire was 20% contained, but no structures were threatened. The fire is believed to be human-caused.

The North Delle Fire is 80% contained and has burned around 500 acres, the wildfire website reported, managed by the Utah Department of Natural Resources and several federal agencies.

Fire regulations that cover public lands go into effect Monday. The order, issued earlier this month by the Bureau of Land Management’s West Desert district office, applies to 12 counties in northern and central Utah: Box Elder, Cache, Juab, Millard, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah, Wasatch and Weber.

Under the new rules, use of any steel core, jacketed or tipped ammunition is prohibited through Sept. 30 on public lands managed by the BLM. So is the use of any tracer or incendiary ammunition.

Also on the prohibited list: any kind of explosives, incendiary or chemical devices, pyrotechnics or fireworks, or exploding targets; any use of sky lanterns, Chinese lanterns, fire balloons, acetylene balloons or similar devices; and use of any off-road vehicles that don’t have a properly installed and maintained spark arrestor.

There are a couple of exceptions. Class C fireworks — the small stuff people can buy at Utah grocery stores and parking-lot tents — are allowed on the Fourth of July at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Also, off-road vehicles without spark arrestors are allowed at the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Knolls and Little Sahara recreation areas.