Starting Monday, the Utah National Guard with contractor Parsons are conducting investigation work on and around Gus Hill. The investigation, during which personnel will be using metal detectors to look for possible debris from historical military training in the area, will last up to two weeks.
The investigation comes three years after an Eagle Mountain resident contacted the Utah National Guard after his son found munitions-looking fragments while using a metal detector on a large hill near their neighborhood. Parsons and the UTNG conducted a follow-up visit to the site using metal detectors and found numerous fragments from 37mm artillery rounds on the hill slope surface. No live rounds or explosive hazards were found at the time.
After conducting some research, the UTNG believes the cliff faces of the hill were used as targets for historical artillery training likely between 1920 and 1940. The current investigation is beginning after considering environmental impact and seeking approval from the National Guard Bureau.
The purpose of the investigation is to determine the general extent of munitions presence on Gus Hill and whether there may be military munitions debris on surrounding hills to the west and south. The UTNG will then use this information to plan further work to more accurately characterize the nature of munitions present and plan for site cleanup, according to a press release.
The UTNG has said there is no known exposure hazard at this time, but residents are warned against collecting metallic objects in the shape of projectiles. If a resident has such an object or knows where such an object is located, they are asked to contact the Utah County Sheriff's Office or dial 911 for assistance.