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Utah survivalist whose bunker caused problems during Brian Head Fire charged

Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

FILE – _The Brian Head Fire burns on Friday, June 23, 2017._

SALT LAKE CITY — An 82-year-old guy whose bunker stuffed with explosives caused problems for crews preventing the large Brian Head Fire remaining 12 months will face a prison rate in court docket.

Richard O. Batt, of Parowan, was once charged Wednesday in Iron County’s fifth District Court with having incendiary tool portions, a third-degree prison.

In June 2017, firefighters fighting the Brian Head Fire close to Parowan got here throughout a burned down cabin. Then they heard “popping” sounds, in line with the Iron County Sheriff’s Office.

“The firefighters first thought the ‘popping’ sounds were rocks exploding due to heat, but as the sound continued for approximately five minutes, firefighters realized the ‘popping’ sound was actually ammunition exploding in the fire,” in line with a 2017 press unencumber from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office.

The supply of the popping was once made up our minds to be a close-by underground bunker. Inside the bunker investigators discovered a field of novelty grenades, explosive powder, fuses and ammunition.


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Deputies made up our minds Batt, who claimed he was once getting ready for the tip of days, owned the cabin and 7 or 8 others hidden all the way through the realm. The survivalist mentioned maximum had been “supplied with food storage, firearms and ammunition, and he had built the shelters and storage caches over the course of several years,” the clicking unencumber mentioned.

An preliminary court docket look for Batt is scheduled for Sept. 11.

The Brian Head Fire burned 71,000 acres and value $34 million to combat. A Taylorsville guy allegedly began the fireplace when looking to transparent weeds round his cabin. He faces a rate of reckless burning.

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