Richard Bart Green/Don Green Pho
Fire ravages Herriman homes Sunday night, Sept. 19, 2010, after a wildfire sparked by machine gun fire at an artillery range on Camp Williams went out of control.

HERRIMAN — Herriman is considering building an outdoor gun range in the south part of town in the foothills. But officials of this city, twice hit by wildfires, are concerned with public safety from stray bullets, noise and the chance that a bullet could spark yet another fire.

Last month, the planning commission approved a conditional use permit for an outdoor range, to be located about a mile south of Providence Hall Elementary, 4795 Mount Ogden Peak Drive.

“We don’t want to hear consistent gunfire in our neighborhood, said Herriman resident Scott Thomas.

The city recently addressed the noise concern by holding a gun range noise test near the proposed site and asking what residents thought of noise coming from the range. The test was held between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Rich Olsen and other Herriman residents heard about the test and they wanted to see what it was all about.

“They asked some residents to come up and gauge what the sound was going to be like, and so they offered to let us come up and shoot some guns and see what it would be like,” Olsen said. People used shotguns, handguns and deer rifles during the test.

Herriman spokeswoman Nicole Martin said the city wanted to simulate what a gun range might look like for residents.

Many residents responded on Herriman’s Facebook page. Resident Jennifer Goodrich wrote she didn’t notice any noise. Clint Zundel posted, “I’m in Valley View and could hear the gun firing. It sounded about as loud as the nail guns doing construction in my neighborhood."

While Trish Slussar noted, “I was on my front porch during the demonstration, 1 mile from the site. And the rifles were LOUD here. And that was only a few rifles.”

Noise wasn’t the only concern. Residents were also worried about the possibility of wildfires from a stray bullet.

“From what I’ve learned today, I don’t think those are concerns with safety and fire because it will be well-managed,” Thomas said.

There were several fires sparked by gunfire in recent years, including last summer's Dump Fire in Saratoga Springs and the 2010 Machine Gun Fire in Herriman. City leaders say a gun range might help with wildfires, because people who go off into the foothills now to shoot might go to the range instead. The ground would be cleared of grass and weeds, so nothing would spark a fire.

A public hearing on the issue is scheduled during the Herriman City Council meeting on Nov. 8, 7 p.m. at the Herriman City building, 13011 S. Pioneer Street.


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