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State officials add two Utah reservoirs to mercury advisory list

SALT LAKE CITY –  Officials with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality are asking Utahns to be aware of recent updates to the Utah Mercury Fish Consumption Advisory List.

The advisory updates are being issued after state officials found elevated levels of mercury in fish tissue in Starvation Reservoir and Yuba Reservoir.

The advisory says pregnant women and children under six should not consume Walleye caught at Starvation Reservoir or Yuba Reservoir.

The advisory also says pregnant women and children under six should not consume Largemouth Bass caught at Quail Creek Reservoir or Recapture Reservoir.

People who do not meet those criteria may consume the fish in limited quantities. (Read the advisories at www.fishadvisories.utah.gov for details.)

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Labor Day weekend part of ’100 Deadliest Days’ for Utah roadways

SALT LAKE CITY – Utahns are expected to hit the road in droves this holiday weekend, and officials want people to remember the state is still amidst the “100 Deadliest Days.”

Officials said traditionally there is a 35 percent  increase in fatalities relating to accidents on Utah roadways in the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

According to data from AAA Utah, an estimated 2.5 million residents in the Mountain West area will travel 50 miles or more during the holiday weekend, which is a 5.4 percent increase from last year.

Rolayne Fairclough, AAA, said drivers need to be careful, wear their seat belts and get enough sleep before hitting the road.

Crews respond to apartment fire in Tooele

TOOELE, Utah –Fire crews responded to an apartment fire in Tooele Wednesday afternoon.

Officials said the fire sparked at a complex that’s just off of State Street on 600 North.

Mike Jenen, assistant chief with the Tooele City Fire Department, said multiple units were impacted by the fire.

“We got called to a structure fire,” he said. “It ended up being an apartment complex. We had a couple of units involved.”

Kerry Hammond lives at the complex, and he said an unusual sound woke him from his nap.

“It sounded like my cat was trying to get in my back window, and I thought, ‘Whats he trying to do?’ So I went to the back, looked out, and the apartment was just totally engulfed.”

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but investigators said they believe it started in the unit next door to Hammond’s. Officials said the unit was empty.

Organizations team up to combat prescription drug abuse in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY – A chain of pharmacies is helping to spread the message that sharing isn’t caring, at least as it relates to prescription drugs.

Pharmacy personnel in Smith’s Food and Drug stores are working to make people aware of the dangers involved with prescription drugs, particularly narcotics.

Lt. Michael Ross of the Salt Lake City Police Department said opiate based drugs pose a real threat of addiction and abuse.

“It can happen to anybody,” he said. “You take an opiate drug for so long, no matter who you are: You’re going to become addicted. You have to just stand up and realize when you need help.”

Ross also said these prescription drugs are more deadly than street drugs.

“When people think of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, you don’t realize that more people are dying because of prescription drug abuse than all those three combined,” he said.

State Route 199 reopens, Patch Springs Fire 25 percent contained

TOOELE COUNTY — The Patch Springs Fire is still burning actively on the east and north side of its containment in Tooele County, and State Route 199 has been reopened.

Officials said Sunday night S.R. 199 had been reopened and all Dugway Proving Ground personnel should report to to work at their regular time Monday.

Six buildings and a lodge in Terra were destroyed by the blaze that started Aug. 10 by a lightning strike. About 70 people were evacuated and have since been allowed back to their homes, said spokeswoman Teresa Rigby.

The fire has burned more than 31,000 acres and there is currently 25 percent containment. Rigby said the community of Big Hollow is currently a priority for fire crews.

There are about 10 homes in the area but no evacuations or concerns have arisen at this point, Rigby said.

Residents return home after Patch Springs Fire

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah – Homeowners in Tooele County are picking up the pieces after a fire devastated a mobile home park in Willow Springs.

The 31,000-acre Patch Springs Fire is still burning, but it is no longer posing a significant threat to homes officials said Saturday.

Teresa Rigby, Bureau of Land Management fire information officer, said the terrain has hampered their efforts to extinguish the fire.

“The fire itself is in really steep terrain up on the mountain,” Rigby said. “Unless we had all the resources in the world we are really limited sometimes in what we can do.”

Red flag warning conditions have been in effect for days, and the possibility of relief from storms also carries the risk of more trouble.

“Crews continue to work the fire to make sure it’s put out,” Rigby said. “The weather is going to be the wild card here today.”

Fire burning more than 6,000 acres in Tooele County

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah – A fire near Skull Valley Indian Reservation has burned an more than 6,000 acres as of Tuesday morning.

Joanna Wilson, Bureau of Land Management, said the Patch Springs Wildfire was caused by lightning and began Saturday afternoon.

As of about 9:40 p.m. Sunday, Wilson said the fire was threatening several structures. Threatened structures included residential and commercial properties as well as outbuildings. Wilson said the threat to structures escalated with a shift in the winds.

Five engines, two hand crews and a water tender were on scene. Wilson said in a press release additional resources have been ordered to assist the fight.

A photo gallery of this and other fires can be seen here.