Grass fire torches Richardson Flat |

Grass fire torches Richardson Flat

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

A man shooting a machine gun likely started a wildfire Wednesday that scorched roughly 1,000 square feet of Richardson Flat.

"It was an automatic weapon with tracer rounds," Summit County Fire Warden Bryce Boyer said.

Sparks from the ammunition ignited the blaze around 8 p.m., Park City Fire District Battalion Chief Steve Zwirn said, adding that the fire was contained within an hour.

"Nine people and three engines put the fire out," Zwirn said. "It was a good warm up for the season."

Witnesses claim the man who started the fire, who was not caught, was firing the gun at a makeshift shooting range near Quinn’s Junction, Zwirn said, adding, "there are thousands of shells out there."

"They said that a third car had just left and he had been shooting an automatic weapon with tracers," Zwirn said.

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Fortunately, there was no wind in the area, Zwirn added.

"It still had about four- to six-foot flames," Boyer said. "If we had had any wind behind it, it could have been a lot worse."

The state Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands Friday banned the use of fireworks and tracer ammunition on state land.